Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has come out to defend itself from the Auditor General’s claims that it has been inflating the cost of electricity without the knowledge of its consumers.
In a statement today, today, Tuesday, August 8, 2023, the utility firm has termed the reports which shed light on alleged malpractice by Kenya Power as misleading and tarnishing its brand.
”Kenya Power takes exception to the contents of the article, which are not only nonfactual but also geared towards building a false narrative around the cost of electricity and tarnishing the brand,” the statement reads in part.
KPLC notes that all electricity bills are computed based on customer consumption of the difference between the current meter reading and the previous reading.
It adds that each month, the regulator (the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority) checks and confirms the electricity supplier charges customers based on approved rates.
“Part of power system losses are inevitable during transmission and distribution of power; therefore, the regulator sets a threshold for the allowable system losses that is factored in the tariff,” KPLC said.
”In the current financial year, the regulator has allowed system losses up to a maximum of 18.5%. Kenya Power meets the cost of system losses incurred above what is allowed,” it added.
PRESS STATEMENT: Misleading article on the cost of electricity pic.twitter.com/SdJrUMhCFx
— The Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc. (@KenyaPower) August 8, 2023
The Auditor General disclosed in her report that their forensic review of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution had uncovered significant discrepancies between billed amounts and actual consumption. The audit indicated that a substantial portion of the bill, nearly 20%, could not be matched to specific consumers or actual energy usage.
“Almost 20 percent of the bill to consumers cannot be matched to actual consumption neither can the distribution company attribute it to a specific consumer,” Ms Nancy Gathungu said.
Despite these findings, both Kenya Power and the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) are yet to provide satisfactory explanations for the irregularities.
Gathungu further highlighted issues related to outdated study reports, partial simulations, and errors in calculating system losses, contributing to the billing anomalies.
The audit has revealed that out of 96 power generation plants supplying Kenya Power, only 38 were equipped with check meters. Moreover, these meters were solely associated with off-the-grid power stations, raising concerns about oversight and accuracy in billing for these stations.
The audit also highlighted challenges in verifying invoices submitted by independent power producers (IPPs). Gathungu noted a lack of access to key indices required for cross-verification, limiting Kenya Power’s ability to independently authenticate prices and verify billing accuracy.
“There was a lack of primary access to the key indices which limited the ability of IPPs and KPLC to independently verify the authenticity of prices in the invoices where such indices were applied,” Ms Gathungu said.
“The risk from lack of access to these key indices means KPLC is limited in its oversight role of ensuring the submitted invoices were correct.”