Your next electricity bill now depends on your average consumption over the last three months, according to tariff adjustment being effected by Kenya Power.
Depending on usage over the period, you may either be moved up or down the two tariffs comprising lifeline or domestic.
The classes, which saw electricity consumers automatically moved to higher bands if they consistently breached the 100 units a month consumption rate, kicked off on Wednesday with customers receiving text messages about the changes.
“Dear customer, as per the tariff structure, your last three months’ average consumption was above 100 units. You have been moved to domestic ordinary tariff band, “read a text send to many customers yesterday for those who had consumed above 100 units.
Energy Regulatory Commission Director-General Pavel Oimeke Wednesday said the classification would affect consumers either way with some expected to move into the cheaper tariff band while others go up.
“The movement is meant to be either way; a few to lower band and a few to higher band,” Mr Oimeke said.
A majority of those who took to social media seeking clarification had been moved from the lowest class of domestic lifeline where a unit costs Sh10 to domestic ordinary, where a unit attracts Sh15.8.
Last month, the energy regulator gazetted consumers’ categorisation that would automatically shift between “SC1” and “SC2” depending on whether their three-month average consumption rate exceeds or falls below the 100-unit threshold.
Similarly, households will also shift automatically between categories “Domestic Consumers-Lifeline” (DC I-L) and “DC2-0” depending on whether their three-month consumption average crosses on falls below the 100 units.
The changes, which allow Kenya Power to adjust its bills without seeking ERC’s further approval, kicked in Wednesday.
“Apart from the above changes, all the other information and details as contained in Schedule of Tariffs, 2018 under Gazette Notice No. 8043 of 2018 and the amendment under Gazette Notice No. 11211 of 2018 remain the same,” states a notice signed by Mr Oimeke.
The notice added, “new customers under Domestic and Small Commercial categories be admitted as DC-1 and SC-1 tariff categories, respectively for the first three months before being subjected to the moving average criteria.”
ERC reclassified SMEs as small commercial (SC) tariff band — which consumes no more than 100 units a month and buys power at Sh21.95 per kilowatt hour following President Kenyatta’s directive on prices for the segment.
There are over 3.6 million customers in the domestic lifeline category, which buys electricity at the lowest rate while the domestic ordinary has slightly above 2.5 million customers.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said there was no upward revision of tariffs but just mere information for customers on the bands they belong to.
“It is automatic even if no SMSs were sent. You just get classified according to your consumption,” Mr Keter explained.