How to reduce your electricity expenses: Navigating Kenya Power’s complicated charges with meter separation
Have you ever wanted to know how Kenya Power charges us for electricity? Have you ever wanted to know how much it will cost for a certain number of Kenya Power units (Kilo Watt hours)?
You will not get answers to these questions here, but you can use this calculator to estimate how much your expected electricity consumption is likely to cost in addition to getting information on the different components of your electric bill. The calculator only gives an estimation mainly because there is a delay in updating the charges for the new month. When you use the calculator, the month for which the charges were last updated will be indicated. The calculator will be more useful if you change your time for buying electricity units to the end of the month rather than the beginning of the month.
Kenya Power always provides us with tips on how to reduce our electricity consumption in order to reduce our electricity costs. Here you will learn how to legally reduce your recurring electricity costs while maintaining your current electricity consumption.
As of September 2015, Kenya Power charged Ksh. 2.50 per unit for the first 50 units and Ksh. 13.68 per unit for the next 1,450 units (i.e. unit 51 to 1,500 consumed). The first 50 units plus the monthly fixed charge and taxes cost a total of about Ksh. 560 while 100 units cost about Ksh. 1,565 and 150 units cost about Ksh. 2,570. Therefore the second and subsequent 50 units increase the cost of electricity by more than Ksh. 1.000 – making the additional 50 units cost nearly double the cost of the first 50 units plus the monthly fixed charge.
|Units consumed per month – September 2015 (kWh)||Total Cost including monthly fixed charge and taxes (Ksh.)||Total Cost of the additional 50 units (Ksh.)|
These prices are the same for both pre-paid and post-paid domestic consumers. The prices may however change in the future mainly due to the monthly changes in some of the components of the electric bill: Fuel Cost Charge, Foreign Exchange Rate Fluctuation Adjustment, Inflation Adjustment, and WARMA Levy. However the price structure and especially the big difference between the prices for different levels of consumption will likely be maintained in order to discourage high consumption.
This pricing system makes it beneficial to separate your Kenya Power account into as many accounts as possible and pay the monthly fixed charge for every account but reduce total electricity costs by nearly half. Separating your Kenya Power account is done by what is commonly referred to as meter separation. Each Kenya Power meter is a Kenya Power account on its own. The more affordable first 50 units are allocated to each account every month. Multiple accounts take more advantage of the more affordable electricity. Meter separation only works to reduce your electricity costs if each account is consuming more than 50 units.
As a homeowner
If your servant’s quarters or extension is occupied or being used in some way and consuming more than 50 units a month without having its own meter, you are most likely paying more for electricity than what is necessary. Whenever you extend your house or build a separate extension, take the opportunity to install a separate meter if you expect electricity consumption in the new area to exceed 50 units.
As a landlord
If you own multiple housing units that share a meter, you or your tenants are most likely paying more for electricity than what is necessary. Having your tenants split the cost of electricity billed from one meter is making electricity costlier for the tenants. You may be losing out on tenants or potential tenants who are aware of this fact.
As a tenant
If you live in a housing complex whereby the different housing units share a meter, you are most likely paying more for electricity than what is necessary. It will most likely be difficult to get the landlord to install a separate meter for your housing unit as the process will cost the landlord some money, and landlords are not usually known for spending money to make tenants happy. If you are not able to convince your landlord to install a separate meter for your housing unit, estimate your electricity consumption and use the calculator to estimate your electricity costs if you had your own meter, and then determine for yourself if the cost savings on electricity justify moving to a different house with its own meter.