Kenya Power Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Engineer Joseph Siror, on Thursday, June 22, asked Kenyans to be patient despite the increasing cost of power, stating that the country was better off than other African countries.
Speaking to the media, Siror cited South Africa as one of the countries grappling with electricity challenges forcing its government to ration power.
Kenya Power, he underlined, was better placed to distribute electricity owing to the structural reforms undertaken at the institution. The parastatal was also working towards reducing the high cost of power.
“Some countries have not handled it well, like South Africa. If you knew the kind of rationing (they are subjected to), you would appreciate where we are as a country.
“We are at a much better point when you compare us to South Africa in terms of electricity and service provision,” he added.
Causes of the High Cost of Power
Korir stated that the high cost of power resulted from increased government investment in the company necessitating the recovery of the funds spent.
During the recovery period, the company was forced to increase the cost of power as one of the alternatives to generating more income and clearing its debts.
“Over the past few years, the government has ambitiously invested in the electricity center, and the initial investment has to be recovered.
“And during this period some of those investments are still recovering. But as we go forward, most of these will have been recovered and the cost of power will also go down,” explained Korir.
At the same time, he stated that some of the projects were yet to be completed, further delaying Kenya Power’s plan to reduce power prices.
Strategies to Reduce Cost of Power
Nonetheless, Kenya Power rolled out several measures to reduce power prices.
One of the key strategies was increasing power demand, especially for higher consumers like businesses.
“The key areas I am looking at are increasing the power demand. When you look at the power demand curve within 24 hours, there are times when it is higher.
“Our work is to engage the power consumers and the SMEs to see if we can work together towards them getting more power,” he added.
The second strategy Korir noted would help reduce the cost of power was increasing operational efficiency by establishing smart grids across the country.
“We are looking at ways to increase our operations, and the aspect of the smart grid plays a very key role. That is why we are looking at solutions and initiatives that can assist us to address that,” added Korir.
Kenya Power launched the smartwatch on June 8 to support high-speed internet connectivity, eliminate the challenges of losing signals, and ensure wider and more efficient data coverage.