Electricity bills set to rise as dam levels drop

Kenyans have been urged to brace for higher electricity bills in January.

This as the country’s hydro generated power is set to reduce on account of poor rainfall.

Speaking while on a tour of Masinga dam, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said the largest hydro station, is currently at 1,048 meters of water which is unreliable to generate power.

Mr Keter said the dam may be shut down if the water levels drop further.

The ministry is however working on new measures to ensure that outages were minimized during the dry season.

“We have enough supply from geothermal and diesel driven power sources to cover what we may lose from the hydropower stations affected by the ongoing dry weather,” Mr Keter said.

The current drought has affected the Masinga and Sondu-Miriu hydropower stations the most. .

With hydro power off the mix, the government will turn to expensive thermal generated electricity.

The fuel levy now stands at Sh2.85 per kilowatt hour but is expected to rise between January and March.

“We expect the electricity bills to insignificantly rise due to the use of diesel based power generation, but this will come down again in March when we expect to receive rains,” he said.

Hydro power is the main component of the country’s energy mix accounting for 820 megawatts of the 2,177 megawatts of installed electricity.

Mr Keter however ruled out the possibility of power rationing.

“Since 2013, power generation has increased by 32 percent while we have expanded transmission lines by 22 percent, enabling 60 percent of the Kenyan households to access electricity,” Mr Keter said.

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