The coming months are set to see power bills continue to fall, as a result of increased generation of cheaper hydro power. The increase is due to the rise of water levels in dams that have risen to peak levels since 2015.
Following months of heavy rains, hyrdo-electric dams along Tana River basin have increased to a three-year high. This is good news to homes and business that have been struggling with high electricity charges.
With the share of hydro rising to 40 percent, its is expected that the fuel levy will be cut further, after falling to Sh4.95 per kilowatt hour 9 (kWh) in May from April’s Sh5.35 – on reduced usage of costly diesel generators.
“We are covered at least until December,” said Energy secretary Charles Keter. He further dismissed assumptions of increased electricity for the rest of the year.
Previously, the lower water levels in the country’s hydro-electric dams have meant heavy reliance on diesel –powered generators. In turn, this has meant a rise in fuel surcharge and forex adjustment costs.
Since October 2016, the fuel surcharge has steadily risen from Sh2.31 kWh. An explanation of why electricity costs have been increasing – the highest among basic home supplies.
Monthly power consumption growth estimates point to the period between January and April – last year, as the quickest. For example power homes that consume 200-kilowatt hours (kWh) per month rose from Sh 3,575 to Sh 4,322 within the same period.
On the other hand those who consumed 50 units of electricity a month (mostly low- income earners) saw an increase of their payments from Sh559 to Sh745 – in the same period.