Kenya Power loses Ksh 616,600 court battle for hiked electricity bill
Kenya Power has suffered a major blow after the High Court on Friday, June 25, 2021 stopped it from demanding Ksh616,600 in electricity bills from Alan Donovan, the proprietor of African Heritage House.
In a judgement delivered by Justice James Makau, the court issued the orders after finding that the petition by the businessman has merit and declared that KPLC violated the businessman's right to goods and services of reasonable quality.
“I declare that the electricity supply bill of Ksh616,600 issued on June 18,2018 to the (Donovan) by the utility firm Kenya Power is without basis and or justification,” Justice Makau ruled.
The judge also directed Kenya Power to correct or delete all untrue or misleading information in the electricity bills that affect the businessman.
"An order is hereby issued that a permanent injunction be directed to the first respondent (Kenya Power) from billing or recovering from the petitioner (Donovan) backdated electricity bills based on the Sh 10.1 billion contained in the annual report and financial statements for the year ending June 30,2017," said the judge
Justice Makau has further directed Kenya Power to bill the businessman solely on the actual meter readings on the tariffs set and approved by law.
The judge said that Kenya Power failed to demonstrate that a valid electricity supply bill of Ksh616,000 exists for the duration in question providing for all elements charged in a standard bill.
The orders comes after Donovan filed a suit at Milimani Courts contesting the move by Kenya Power to disconnect electricity to his business that deals in art materials on September 4, 2018 shortly after it billed him the amount that covered November 2016 to March 2018.
The businessman protested the amount billed saying he had paid all his monthly bills on time. Kenya Power on the other hand clarified that it had all along erroneously under-billed him, leading to the colossal amount.
In the court papers, Donovan argued that the State-owned firm is using the bill to punish him after he swore an affidavit supporting the case by lawyer Apollo Mboya on backdated electricity bills three year ago.
Donovan informed the court that the erroneous billing has been ongoing since 2008 and he has made several trips to offices of the power provider complaining of the hiked bill as he continued settling the bills each month.
He argued that the utility firm had been sending him estimated bills without sending its staff to read the meter and that early last year he applied and installed a new meter hoping that the issue would be resolved.
Dovonan added that letter Kenya Power sent him on June 6 was a revised bill, saying Donovan had consumed 38,424 units from November 2016 to March 2018 but had been billed only for 9,666 units.
The firm further indicated that the total electricity consumed was Ksh 871,235 over that period and yet he had been billed Ksh286,486.
Donovan says the disconnection of power supply has caused him a lot of harm, noting that he usually hosts local and international guests at African Heritage House which has thousands of art collections.