The gradual shift to own- generated solar power has pushed Kenya Power into a dilemma since they have lost a heavy number of consumers.
Kenya Power warns that a growing number of top customers who account for about 54.8 percent of its sales revenues have switched.
The company’s big power consumers such as Africa Logistics Properties (ALP), Mombasa International Airport, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) have recently commissioned solar power units on their properties.
In addition, several companies, universities and factories have also turned to solar photovoltaic (PV) grid-tied systems to supply power for internal use to ensure reliable supply and reduced operational costs
Power generation crossed a record one billion kilowatt-hours in October adding financial pressure on the distributor which is already paying for huge volumes of idle electricity.
Payments for idle electricity is a pass-on cost to consumers thanks to a take-or-pay clause contained in contracts signed between the government and power producers, compelling Kenya Power to buy the agreed amount of electricity regardless of need.
The company projects the latest growth in demand to remain at approximately 2.3 per cent in 2020 which is much lower compared to the historical 10-year average of 5.9 per cent.
Official data released last year showed that some 2.3 million households also used solar for lighting representing about 19.3 per cent of the total number of homes.