Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) is now investigating Kenya Power after it stopped providing pre-paid consumers with a breakdown of their electricity bills, denying households to interrogate their payment statements.
EPRA on Thursday said it would seek reasons behind the shift in the billing statement that is bringing concerns on consumer rights.
“We have taken note of this matter and are currently probing to establish the reasons behind it. Once we arrive after our investigation, we shall make the findings public and take necessary regulatory actions,” EPRA director-general Pavel Oimeke stated on Thursday.
This has made it difficult for consumers to establish the costing on their bills if it matches the unit prices for various items like tax, regulatory levies and other surcharges with data published monthly in the Kenya Gazette by Epra.
Kenya Power has been on the spotlight of laying off 110 employees early this year who were found guilty of aiding fraud, illegal connections and other crimes in the pre-paid token generation and the post-paid bill.
According to Kenya Power Managing Director and CEO, Bernard Ngugi the layoff happened over the last one year.
“Illegal connections do not just threaten the Company’s revenue but also the lives of beneficiaries and the public at large. We are focused on eliminating these crimes and ensuring all those found culpable face the full force of the law,” said Benard Ngugi in a statement early this year.
Kenya Power was recently on the spot again for giving preference to expensive thermal power over cheaper options such as geothermal and hydro, effectively setting up consumers for higher electricity prices.
September data by Epra revealed that Kenya Power had picked the highest proportion of the expensive thermal power in more than a year while reserving the lowest slot for the cheaper geothermal power.
Former Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo, his successor Dr Ken Tarus, company secretary Beatrice Meso and Mr Peter Mungai were charged with conspiracy to commit an economic crime, abuse of office, failure to comply with procurement laws and conspiracy to defeat justice.
In the Consumer Protection Act 2012, it demands that the consumers be provided with full information, including the price and quality of any product they purchase.
By Christabel Airo