The Water Resources and Management Authority (Warma) is the latest State entity to seek a bigger pie of the electricity bills in what looks set to further increase the cost of power.
Warma has applied to the energy regulator for a review of the levy to Sh2 per unit of power, from the current Sh0.01 per unit.
The push for the upward review of the Warma levy is separate from the application made by Kenya Power on behalf of other State energy agencies to increase electricity bills by up to 78 percent from April.
Warma’s proposal, if adopted by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) will see power bills jump 88 percent per unit with consumers who use 50-kilowatt hours (kWh) a month being the ones to be hit hardest.
“There is a separate proposal from Warma besides the tariff review application made on behalf of the sector by Kenya Power. The impact of this (Warma proposal) is that the cost of power will rise further,” Epra Director General Daniel Kiptoo said.
“But we are engaging with Warma and the Ministry of Energy to ensure that we keep this (Warma levy) to the bare minimum.”
Customers who use up to 50 kWh per month and who are currently paying Sh20.70 per unit will pay Sh38.91 per unit if Epra approves the tariff increment and Warma’s proposal.
Industries that consume more than 15,000 kWh a month will pay Sh32.87 per unit up from Sh21.86 if Epra approves both applications.
Those using less than 30 kWh per month (lifeline customers) and who are paying Sh20.70 per unit will be charged Sh29.99.
The levy is charged on energy purchased from hydropower plants and is meant to improve the water catchment areas to ensure water levels are sufficient to produce hydro-power, the country’s major contributor to the power mix.
Warma’s reasons to push for the higher charge remain undisclosed with the application coming at a time the energy regulator opened to public participation in the upward review of electricity tariffs.
The levy is one of the seven charges per unit of power which are passed on to consumers.
A higher Warma charge will further squeeze households and families that are also staring at higher tariffs effective April if Epra approves the application made by Kenya Power on behalf of other State agencies in the energy agencies.