Kenya Power should wake up from slumber
Kenya Power must wake up and smell the coffee amidst the noise that is quickly gaining momentum against the electricity distribution monopoly.
What Kenyans want is simple: Cheaper, cleaner and reliable energy.
The Kenya Government’s Vision 2030 aspires to transform the country from low income status into a middle-income economy in the next 10 years.
A key element of this transformation is a big percentage of the population getting access low-cost electricity.
Therefore, for the industry to raise the red flag - as it has already done - and for households to start clamouring for a solar energy revolution, can only mean the power monopoly has thrown Kenyans under the bus.
Why Kenya Power has not visualised that expensive and unreliable services are the main reason behind attempts to tap alternative sources of energy eludes many. Instead, the firm has fingered solar energy as its biggest challenge.
Indeed, manufacturers, major malls and large building projects and households are switching to solar grid systems as they seek to reduce operational costs and enhance power reliability, but what has Kenya Power done?
Instead of tackling the elephant in the room, the firm continues to look the other way, as it tries to figure out how to increase bills to pay their surging debt. For how long will they do this and is it sustainable?
The current situation makes a strong case for new players in the business, and the call by KenGen to sell directly to consumers makes a lot of sense.
Kenya currently sits on huge volumes of idle power which needs to be consumed, otherwise going forward, it will hurt the utility firm further.
As it is, the distribution of power to villages dubbed Last Mile Connectivity, is a pain to the utility firm, hence the need for the Kenya Power board and management to wake up and face the challenges afflicting the monopoly head-on.
Apart from system losses and pilferage in the systems, the expensive thermal power generation contracts, whose sale by date long passed, must be done away with.
The company is publicly listed and must be strong enough to shield itself from the politics of the day.
Otherwise taxpayers will be milked dry through increased charges, taking the sector to the dogs. Something must give.