Capital Markets

Electricity prices increase marginally in January


A user on the MyPower, Kenya Power android app. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Domestic electricity bills rose marginally to a new high of Sh26.39 per kilowatt-hour in the first month of the year by 0.4 percent compared to the previous month.

The cost of domestic power jumped from Sh26.29 on increased variable charges such as fuel cost charges (FCC).

An analysis of power bills by the Business Daily shows those consuming 50 kilowatts per hour (kWh) are paying Sh1,319.61 up from Sh1,314.42 in December.

Homes using 100kWh are paying Sh2,639.22 in January from Sh2,628.85 reported in December.

Consumers will part with Sh3958.83 this month from Sh3,943.2 last month for 150kWh worth of consumption.

For 200kWh, consumers will cough up Sh5,278.44 for electricity this month from Sh5,257.7 in December.

Read: Electricity prices to jump 15pc Sunday as Ruto stops subsidy

The cost of power has risen for the fifth month in a row on the back of high global oil prices and a weak shilling since the President Ruto administration assumed office.

Expensive power adds to the pain of the high cost of living on Kenyans saddled by unemployment and high inflation.

Kenya’s inflation dipped marginally to 9.1 percent year-on-year in December, down from 9.5 percent a month earlier, easing for the second month in a row on lower food and fuel prices.

Inflation in December was driven by an increase in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, transport, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, according to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics.

Inflation peaked at 9.6 percent in October, the highest level since May 2017.

The fuel cost charge was the only variable that rose by 0.84 percent from Sh7.12 per kWh to Sh7.18 per kWh while the foreign exchange effect fell to Sh1.93 per kWh from Sh2.01 per kWh in the period under review.

This is one of the first highest jumps in FCC recorded in the last five years.

A rise in fuel surcharge increases the cost of power by reducing the number of units bought.

The value-added tax remained stable at Sh3.16 per kWh the same as the month before.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) announced on January 14 that fuel prices remain unchanged from the previous month.

The regulator said diesel price had been cross-subsidised with that of super petrol to cushion consumers from galloping prices.

However, a subsidy of Sh25.13 per litre would be maintained for kerosene to cushion consumers from the otherwise high prices.

Charges are determined based on the prescribed feed-in tariff by the government or through open and transparent procurement.

Also read: Uhuru's 15 per cent cut of power prices to expire this month

President William Ruto said in his new year’s address he will not bow to pressure from the public and opposition to re-introduce subsidies on commodities such as food, fuel, and electricity, unlike the former administration.

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