The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), on Friday, December 9, notified the public of its intention to fine independent power producers generating power of more than one Megawatt without a licence.
EPRA stipulated a fine of up to Ksh1 million or a term of imprisonment not less than one year or both.
In the notice published in the dailies, the regulator asked those intending to carry out generation, exportation, transmission and distribution to apply for a licence through the authority.
It also underlined the need for the general public to be aware of the Energy Act 2019, which denotes electricity generation for various usage.
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The Act under section 118 stipulates that; “A person who carries out electricity undertaking without a licence commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings or to a term of imprisonment not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment,”
Under the notice, the energy regulator highlighted that people were generating electricity for sale to third parties (commercial and industrial) without obtaining a licence from the Authority.
This development is against the backdrop of Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna decrying the expensive deals that Kenya struck with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that have made the cost of electricity in Kenya exorbitant.
“We must push for a reduction of power charges [that are] finishing Kenyans. In Mukuru, for instance, residents have to rely on informal connections to survive, ” he revealed.
The Senate Energy Committee has been on a drive to lift the moratorium on power purchasing agreements signed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime.
Led by the chairperson and Nyeri senator, Wahome Wamatinga, the committee noted that there were a lot of bureaucracies in establishing independent power plants.
“The bureaucracies in the set up of power plants are very stringent and discouraging, we need to look for a way to make it easier if we want to encourage investment into the sector,” he remarked.
Sifuna on his part urged that there was a need to have a consensus in the energy sector to lift moratoriums to enable power producers to solve their issues with Kenya Power.
“We need to have a conversation with the Ministry of Energy, to lift the moratorium so that independent power producers can have a conversation with Kenya Power for them to resolve standing issues,” he paused.
File photo of EPRA Director General Daniel Kiptoo.