CHEAPER cooking gas prices increased the consumption by 28.38 per cent to 15.83 metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2015, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data shows.
The data which is obtained from the Ministry of Energy shows consumption of liquified petroleum gas stood at 12.33MT during the same period last year.
A 13-kilogramme cylinder refill in January, February and March cost Sh2,954.36, Sh2,846.53 and Sh2,629.56, respectively.
Refilling the same cylinder cost Sh2995.22, Sh3027.03 and Sh3094.16 in January, February to March 2014 respectively.
“The consumption of the LPG has increased because it is now readily available and the sellers are able to reach more people. However the LPG market in Kenya is still too low compared to the size of the economy,” Mwendia Nyaga the Oil and Energy Services chief executive officer told the star on telephone.
Lower crude oil prices in the first quarter of the year have played a major part in the drop in cooking gas prices this year.
The price of Murban crude oil in the international market stood at an average of $46.40 per barrel in January, $56.55 in February and $56.10 in March, according to the KNBS.
The Energy Regulatory Commission acting director of petroleum Edward Kinyua said the annual consumption of LPG is currently at 2.5 kilogrammes per person, adding the consumption is improving because more people are moving to the middle class status.
“The standardisation of the cylinder valve and the exchange pool that allows consumers to change to different brands has contributed confidence to the use of cooking gas and with low prices more people will want to access the commodity because it is a cleaner source of energy,” he said.