The cost of electricity is set to hit an all time high after prolonged lack of rains which has increased reliance on thermal power producers.
According to a Kenya Gazette Notice by the Energy and Petroleum Regulary Authority (Epra) on Friday, fuel charges are set to go up to Sh3.97 per unit (kilowatt hour-kWh) of electricity consumed in October, an increase from Sh3.88 in September.
Kenya has often relied on power generation from hydro plants, but with long dry spells experienced this year, the country is forced to use thermal power producers which are a costly alternative. The rising price of crude oil has also caused a rise in the price of the already costly thermal power.
The depreciation of the local currency against major world currencies is also a factor in the rise in electricity charges.
The adjustment for foreign exchange fluctuation also went up to Sh1.04 per kWh, up from 76 cents in September.
“Notice is given that all prices for the electrical energy…will be liable to a fuel energy cost charge of plus 397 Kenya cents per kWh for all meter readings to be taken in October, 2021,” said Epra in the gazette notic.
The forex charges are used to cushion power firms against fluctuation of the local currency against major world currencies. Epra said that power consumed over the same month will be liable to a “foreign exchange fluctuation adjustment of plus 103.92 cents per kWh”.
The shilling has weakened against the US dollar to Sh110.21 on average in September from Sh107.6 in May this year.
The demand for thermal power plants has also gone up as the Kenyan economy picks up following the Covid-19 pandemic slumber that saw demand for power go down.
The latest review means that households will have to dig deeper for electricity, with those spending about 200 units paying Sh5,000 or more.