Kenya Power on the spot over reduced tokens

Kenya Power technicians replace a transformer at Kanyange village in Othaya, Nyeri County. [File, Standard]

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is yet again in the spotlight after numerous complaints about the alleged increase in electricity prices.

A majority of Kenyans who took to social media to lodge their complaints held that they had been receiving fewer tokens recently as compared to what they previously got. 

Among those who have taken a swipe at the power giant is Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who termed the move by Kenya Power as unacceptable, urging the government to act and shield Kenyans from the high cost of living.

"The 16 per cent increase in tokens by Kenya Power is the latest unacceptable burden on tired, hungry, and angry Kenyans. This is a clear example of the Kenya Kwanza regime's inability to address the cost of living. They want to leave us in the dark, but I am telling them, kuna nuru gizani," he posted on Thursday. 

The hashtag #KenyaPower was trending on social media for the better part of Thursday, January 11 with customers complaining of the high charges.

X user Calistus Mwatela claimed that he had purchased tokens worth Sh250 last month and received eight (8) units only for him to get seven (7) units today for the same amount.

"Where is the country heading to? This will make it even harder for Small and Medium Enterprises to run businesses effectively. We are already strained as it is," Harj Owen wrote on his  Facebook page. 

Many have called on President Ruto to intervene, terming the current situation as gruesome and targeting the less privileged.

"If Ruto doesn't intervene in the current situation, we are not headed in the right direction. Buying tokens worth Sh1,000 presently looks like a joke. We understand the forex adjustment thing, but an effective government should cushion its citizens," user Omollo Sam lamented on X.

Late last year, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) announced a 16.5 per cent increase in electricity prices starting January 2024, attributing the rise to the depreciating shilling against the U.S. dollar.

EPRA hiked the foreign exchange rate fluctuation adjustment charge by 103.7 per cent to a high of Sh6.46 per unit, up from Sh3.17. Also affected by the charges was the energy charge by 8.7 per cent to Sh4.33 per unit, up from Sh3.98 last month.