MPs bar Kenya Power from new deals
Kenya Power will henceforth not enter into new contracts with any Independent Power Producers (IPPs) after the National Assembly yesterday passed a motion barring the institution from entering into such contracts.
MPs yesterday unanimously approved a motion by Laikipia Woman Rep Jane Kagiri that will now see all the IPPs in the country not only regulated but will also see their locations, stakeholders, directors, management and their addresses and agreements entered into with Kenya Power, published.
The approval of the motion will also pave the way for the Departmental Committee on Energy to undertake an inquiry into the operations of Kenya Power in relation to agreements entered into with IPPs, factors affecting the cost of electricity, including over-reliance on IPPs against available renewable and other energy sources, and come up measures within 120 days.
“The Ministry and Kenya Power develop suitable strategies for engagements with the IPPs, to provide relief for electricity consumers and ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the energy sector,” reads the motion in part.
It adds: “The Departmental Committee on Energy undertakes an inquiry into the operations of Kenya Power in relation to agreements entered into with IPPs, factors affecting the cost of electricity, including over-reliance on IPPs against available renewable and other energy sources and measures to reduce it and submit a report to the House within one hundred and twenty (120) days.”
In the motion, Kagiri said that there is a need to put in place policies, strategies and regulatory measures for better planning to moderate the cost of electricity and enable access to energy by all particularly in the manufacturing sector to ease the cost of production and doing business.
“The Ministry and Kenya Power develop suitable strategies for engagements with the IPPs, to provide relief for electricity consumers and ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the energy sector,” she said.
Last week while debating the motion, MPs raised concern over the high cost of energy and demanded that the government relooks at the operational costs brought about by the various firms that the Ministry of Energy has entered into.
Buuri MP Mugambi Rindiki regretted that the cost of electricity has continued to be high because of various agreements entered into by Kenya Power.
“Time has come when the government needs to relook at these agreements that were entered into a long time ago. The cost of electricity is high because of operational expenses incurred by more than five corporations that have signed agreements with. It is true all of us receive electricity bills every month as industrial or individual consumers. In that bill, we have itemised items which customers are charged, one of those is the cost of diesel which is high because of the many agreements Kenya has entered into. It is high time that the government relooks at the viability of all these institutions.”
Endebess MP Robert Pukose said that the cost of electricity has been on the rise which has in turn led to the high cost of living.
“The cost of electricity has been on the rise. Right now if you buy tokens look at the tokens you have been given compared to the ones you bought last month using the same cost, they are different. This has been necessitated by us containing unfair agreements which must come to an end,” he said.