Atwoli: Why workers should be represented in EPRA board
Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has demanded that the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) board should have a representative from the workers union.
In a statement on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, Atwoli called for the amendment of Section 12 of the Energy Act, 2019, to cater for the provision.
"Workers must be represented in the EPRA Board, as it was in the past, by amending Section 12 of the Energy Act, 2019. First, having a representative from COTU (K) in the EPRA board will ensure that the concerns of workers are considered in regulatory decisions that affect energy pricing. COTU (K) represents the interests of workers across various sectors, including those in the energy industry. Given the significant impact of electricity prices on workers and their households, workers must be represented on the EPRA Board," Atwoli stated.
According to the COTU boss, the union through the board representative will provide valuable insights into the social and economic implications of electricity pricing decisions. he says this will help balance the need for affordable electricity with the financial viability of energy companies.
Atwoli on COTU experts
Atwoli also argues that COTU has experts in the energy sector who will guide the regulator in certain matters, leading to more informed decisions.
"COTU (K) will act as a liaison between workers and EPRA, fostering better communication and understanding of each other's perspectives. The inclusion of COTU (K) representatives will promote collaboration and constructive dialogue in decision-making processes," Atwoli added.
He also says that the inclusion of key stakeholders in the board will ensure transparency in decision-making processes.
"The inclusion of diverse key players like COTU (K) in the EPRA board enhances transparency in regulatory decisions. It ensures that the interests of different segments of society are taken into account, fostering greater public trust in the regulatory process," Atwoli stated.
According to reports, MPs are considering amending the Energy Act to give COTU and the Kenya Federation of Employers (FKE) a slot each in the EPRA board.
The slots are meant to reduce the conflict of interest among those dealing with Independent Power Producers.