Face your customer: Prepaid consumers vs Kenya Power


Why you receive varying electricity units when you buy power despite spending same amount of cash.

Dear Nairobian Defender,

I have bought tokens worth Sh500 severally and each token comes with differing values. Is this honest business practice?

John Gachoka

Below is the response from Kenya Power on the issue after The Nairobian Defender sought an explanation on behalf of John Gachoka

Dear John,

The current schedule of tariffs (2013), as set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) pursuant to section 45 of the Energy Act, 2006 has the following breakdown for tariffs A0 (Method DC) and A1 (Method SC):

Method DC:

You are charged a fixed cost of Sh150. Then the energy charges are broken down as below:

a. Sh2.50 per kWhr for 0-50kWhrs consumed

b. Sh12.75 per kWhr for 51-1,500 kWhrs consumed

c. Sh20.57 per kWhr for units consumed above 1,500 kWhrs.

Method SC:

Under this second tariff, you are also charged a fixed cost of Sh150 when you purchase a token. Then you have an energy charge of Sh13.50 per unit you consume.

These are the two main tariffs found with those on prepayment metering.

For the first tariff (Method DC or A0), we have a cascaded tariff structure as shown above. The baseline is that it applies uniformly across all tariffs. Thus, just as it is with postpaid billing, so it is with prepaid billing.

The first 50 kWhrs will be charged at a rate of Sh2.50 per unit. This means that the very first time in a month a customer vends, if they are given 40kWhrs, then the subsequent time they vend within the same month, the system matrix charges the next 10 kWhrs at the rate of Sh2.50 (until the account hits the 50 kWhrs mark).

The units over and above 50 kWhrs after this will be charged at the rate of Sh12.75 per unit. If say in the second vend the customer received 30 kWhrs, then the first 10 kWhrs will be charged at Sh 2.50 while the remaining 20 kWhrs will be charged at the higher rate of Sh 12.75 per kWhr.

Note that, the two vends could be both worth same amount, say Sh500 each.

Again, if you vend once for an amount of Sh 1,000, the total number of units will be the summation of units in the 1st vend and the second vend.

For the second tariff SC (Method SC or A1), all the units are charged a flat rate of Sh 13.50. A fixed charge of Sh150 applies as usual.

Thus, regardless of when units are purchased, equal number of units will be generated for the same amount of money.

Our customers must be properly educated so that they understand the tariff very well and remove all fables regarding when the right time to vend is, or that vending in small amounts is economical.

Best regards, Kenya Power