Kenya Power Managing Director Bernard Ngugi during an operation to curb illegal connections and theft of electricity in Huruma, Nairobi on March 15, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA | NGILA | NMG Millions of Kenya Power rural customers are spending a paltry Sh3.34 daily on electricity in what has failed to lift the sales of the utility firm in tandem with the sharp increase in connections to the national power grid.
The average monthly electricity consumption of rural households connected to the national grid is a six-kilowatt hour (kWh) that is currently valued at Sh100.45 or Sh3.34 a day, Kenya Power shareholder disclosures show.
Homes that use six-kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity or less every month indicate that a majority of them use electricity for charging phones and controlled lighting.
They are likely not to plugged gadgets like fridges, TV, cookers, microwaves and electric heaters, key drivers of power use in homes.
This reveals the low living standards among a majority of Kenyan households, especially in the rural areas and urban slums that have recently been connected.
The utility says the rural consumers have failed to lift its sales with the firm relying on industrial consumers and wealthy urban dwellers to power revenues.
Power sales have increased 39.3 percent since 2012 when the number of those connected to the grid jumped 271.7 percent.
"[A] majority of the new connections are for domestic rural customers under the last mile programme. The consumption of these customers is on average about six units per month, which explains the low revenues," Kenya Power told investors via its digital shareholder question and answer session.
"The company is undertaking customer awareness and education to promote the use of electricity aimed at driving demand."
Kenya has expanded electricity penetration across the country, particularly in rural areas, over the past decade under the Last Mile Connectivity Project.
This scheme connected homes living close to Kenya Power transformers at a subsidised cost of Sh15,000.The project, which is funded by donors such as the African Development Bank, also brought transformers and power lines to zones that had little economic value for Kenya Power to commit billions of shillings for grid development.Poor homes got connected without paying an advance fee, with charges recovered monthly over a period of 36 months.The low-cost project has been a key plank of the Jubilee government’s energy policy in expanding power access.The government says the Last Mile project removed a major hurdle to the acceleration of […]