NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has lowered connectivity fees to its old rate of Sh35, 000 for single phase and Sh49, 000 for a three phase connection. This cost is to remain effective for the next three months.
The adjustment follows a Cabinet directive on Tuesday when the utility firm was ordered to lower its fees from Sh75,000 for a single phace and Sh85,000 for a three phace connection.
KPLC Acting Managing Director Ben Chumo said the government had injected Sh2.7 billion to connect 100,000 users in the three months.
“The government has recognised that high cost of new connections is a challenge to most citizens who wish to connect to the grid,” he said.
Chumo added that the government is to conduct a study in the next three months to determine the actual cost of new connections. The power company had hiked the fees In January citing a rise in the cost of materials used for connection.
Chumo revealed that the cost of wooden poles rose from Sh8, 382 to Sh12, 150 representing an increase of 144 percent while the cost of a cut-out fuse rose from Sh437 to Sh1, 224 representing an increase of 280 percent among others.
“We have been subsidising connectivity using our own resources to plug the gap between the actual cost of new connection and the cost set in 2004, resources meant for other critical projects, such as improvement of quality of power and reduction of blackouts,” he said.
Chumo said KPLC plans to automate the network in order to manage it effectively without disturbing the users.
“Plans are also underway to under-ground the network in major cities – Nairobi Mombasa Kisumu – to aim at stabilizing losses and provide reliability,” he revealed.
In 2004 the government embarked on a programme to facilitate accelerated electricity access and charged Sh34, 980 for a single phase and Sh49, 080 for a three phase connection.
In that period new connections rose annually from 48,949 in 2004/05 to 307,101 in 2011/12.
The accelerated new connections increased the customer base from 735,000 to 2.2 million representing an increase of 180 percent.