By John Oyuke
A new era of lower electricity tariffs is set to open in Kenya as Government steps up efforts to minimise the cost of power.
Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) is in the process of licensing Kenya Electricity Transmission Company ( Ketraco), a State corporation to use its transmission lines to enable industrial consumers buy cheaper power from the open market.
This is part of the Government’s plan to transform power transmission into open access system. This will allow large electricity customers purchase power from generators to help meet urgent power needs.
Ketraco has applied to ERC for a licence to transmit and supply electrical energy in bulk throughout the country in a move it believes would help lower power bills.
The parastatal was hived off from the then Kenya Power and Lighting Company three years ago and was aimed to reduce cost of electricity and provide a link with neighbouring countries.
“We have applied for the licence to transmit and supply bulky electrical energy,” Raphael Mworia, the firm’s head of corporate communications said.
“We have further requested stakeholders who may have any input on the matter to make submissions to ERC.”
Yet Kenya Power lacked adequate funds to invest in the expansion and reinforcement of the transmission infrastructure.
Mworia says the move is aimed at boosting efficiencies. Under the arrangement, Kenya Power will focus on distribution and interface with consumers while Ketraco will focus on extending the national grid to new areas.