In what could be a blow to Kenya Power which has a monopoly in distributing power, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company is set to begin direct sales of power to consumers.
This will happen as soon as regulations are ready to enforce the Energy Act that will effectively end Kenya Power’s close to 100 years of distribution monopoly. However, they will focus on selling directly to the large power consumers who account for over half of Kenya Power’s electricity sales revenues.
The Energy Act was signed into law in March 2019 but the regulations allowing other companies to apply for retail licenses are yet to be set up. The law under Section 140 compels Kenya Power to provide non-discriminatory open access to its distribution system for use by any licensee, retailer or eligible consumer. The law also specifies that the lines will remain the property of Kenya Power even after a licensee pays fees to the firm to use the infrastructure.
The Ministry of Energy which is expected to draft the regulations appears not to be too keen on the move. It is maintaining that although the law has provided for an alternative distributor of electricity, the new distributor would require investment in infrastructure which may prove counterproductive in areas already supplied.
KenGen MD, Rebecca Miano, had this to say, “The Energy Act 2019 has a provision for us to sell power directly especially to large consumers. What is pending are the regulations of how that would be undertaken and how the infrastructure would be based. We are certain that when the regulations are ready, that possibility will be there.”