Epra plans crackdown on homes with illegal power


Higher power tariffs for middle class ill-timed. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The energy regulator is mapping homes and businesses that are illegally generating electricity for sale as it prepares for a crackdown that will see those found culpable pay up to Sh1 million in fines.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) says it has identified homes and businesses that are currently generating more than one Megawatt (MW) of electricity for sale without licences.

Epra Director-General Daniel Kiptoo said that an increase in commercial deals between developers and businesses has significantly contributed to the number of those illegally generating more than one MW of electricity.

“I particularly single out the increase in commercial agreements between developers and commercial customers where proponents are not complying with the law,” Mr Kiptoo told Business Daily.

Homes and businesses that produce more than one MW of electricity for their own consumption or sale are required to get licences from Epra in line with Section 117 of the Energy Act of 2019.

The majority of businesses and real estate players are building houses with internal power generation systems in a bid to cut reliance on Kenya Power and also lower operational costs.

The cost of power had surged to sky-high levels in recent years before a 15 per cent tariff cut was effected in January last year lowering electricity prices, and easing pressure on businesses and homes.

The reduction has since been reversed and electricity bills are set to rise higher from this month in the absence of billions of shillings from the government that had supported the 15 per cent reduction in what looks set to further fuel the illegal generation of electricity.

Besides the high costs, consumers also turned to other sources including internal generation or purchasing from other firms to the high unreliability of Kenya Power’s supply.

The energy regulator gave the homes and businesses three months to apply for licenses failure to which they risk a fine of up to Sh1 million or at least a year in jail or both.

“It has come to the attention of the Authority that there are persons generating electricity for own use exceeding one megawatt without obtaining a licence from the Authority,” Epra said in a notice.

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