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18th of July 2018

Economy



Kenya: Revealed - Why Your Kenya Power Bills Are High

By John Kamau and Mutuma Mathiu

Kenya Power has procured and fitted hundreds -- possibly thousands -- of defective transformers, exposing consumers to dangers of electric faults and high bills, Daily Nation investigations have revealed.

The transformers failed the company's own quality tests; they were of poor build, the materials used to manufacture them were of poor quality, their oil was leaking, and they were losing too much power in what is called "load losses".

Such transformers often explode, the fuses fail or the company loses huge sums of money because a lot of electricity is lost.

Commenting on the purchase of poor quality power equipment, Kenya Power spokesman Johnstone Turana said by phone: "We are required to award tenders to the lowest bidder and that is why we cannot go against the procurement rules. Otherwise we would purchase the transformers from Germany, which has the best."

ESTIMATION OF CONSUMPTION

There has been a nationwide outcry over monthly power bills which customers consider inflated.

Kenya Power, however, explains that this is as a result of estimation of consumption, but the unnaturally high bills might be the effects of the company passing on its huge operational losses to its customers.

Mr Turana, however, denied that the consumer is picking up the tab. "Transformer failure has nothing to do with power prices. The consumer never pays for the power losses occasioned by faulty transformers," he said.

Kenya Power buys electricity from the State-owned KenGen and some independent producers and sells to homes and businesses.

In Nakuru alone, 70 such transformers failed in one month and the management had internally warned that "the trend of supply of defective and failed transformers... posed serious danger to the public and loss of sales."

Read the full story here.

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