Power bills for this month set to decline

By: IMMACULATE KARAMBU

Electricity consumers will get a slight relief this month, following a reduction of the variable components of the bills.

In a gazette notice published Friday, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) subjected this month’s bills to Sh2.51 and Sh1.06 per unit of electricity for fuel cost charge and forex adjustment respectively.

“Notice is given that all prices for electrical energy will be liable to a fuel cost charge of plus 251 cents per kWh and a foreign exchange fluctuation adjustment of plus 106 cents per kWh for all meter readings taken in November,” ERC said in the notice.

MARGINAL DROP

The fuel cost surcharge was Sh2.56 in October while that for forex was Sh1.99 per unit.

The marginal drop follows slight strengthening of the shilling against the dollar during the period and a decline in the prices of fuel.

ERC reduced the price of diesel during this month’s fuel preview by Sh2.77 to Sh79.66 per litre in Nairobi.

The prices of super petrol and kerosene also went down by Sh2.83 and Sh1.23 per litre respectively.

The two components are revised every month to recover money spent by generating companies to purchase diesel to run thermal machines and importation of equipment for production of power.

RELIANT ON GENERATORS

Despite increased investment in geothermal generation, the country is still reliant on diesel-driven generators to plug an existing deficit.

Data from the ERC indicates that 101 million units of thermal electricity were consumed last month, accounting for 12 per cent of the country’s total electricity consumption during the period.

It is the third largest source of electricity.

Geothermal power consumption hit a record high, with 402.1 million units consumed, the highest ever, accounting for 49 per cent of the total consumption.

High energy costs have in the past been linked to inflation as manufacturers adjust prices of goods to absorb high charges of operation.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION