By Jude Titus
Angry Members of Parliament have made amendments to the Energy Bill to coerce the Kenya Power and Lightning Company [KPLC] to pay consumers for unnecessary outages that last for more than three hours a day.
This comes after the heavy rains experienced in Nairobi for the past few days caused destruction of property, flooding and major power outages. The outages also affected Parliament and Senate buildings but the power monopoly in the country apologized for the inconvenience caused.
Mvita MP Mr. Abdulswamad Sherriff spearheaded the Energy Bill, 2015 and demanded that Kenya Power should alert the public 24 hours before supply is interrupted.
‘‘A licensee shall be liable to compensate a consumer where due to power outages, poor quality, irregularity of electricity supply or negligence, the consumer incurs financial loss; suffers from physical injuries; or any other case,’’ indicated Abdulswamad.
However the MPs stated that incase of a power outage caused by rains, flooding or natural causes; Kenya Power will not be held liable to pay a consumer.
Where a consumer incurs financial loss, the licensee shall compensate the consumer by incorporating the compensation into the consumer’s bill by way of a subsidy which shall be an amount equivalent to the loss incurred.
‘‘The money paid as compensation shall not be less than the amount the consumer would have paid the licensee for power consumed for the period during which there was a power outage,’’ reiterated the amendment.
Under vision 2030, energy is one of the infrastructural ‘enablers’ upon which the economic pillars of the long-term development strategy are built. Kenya aims to increase its power production through a 5000 [plus] MW programme to deliver new electricity generation infrastructure to support the realization of the Vision 2030.
The Kenya Power and Lightning Company is a limited liability company which solely transmits, distributes and retails electricity to consumers in Kenya.
If the approved Bill is accepted by the Senate it will proceed to the President for review and signing for it to become law.