Electricity Supply Industry in Kenya

Electric Power Market Structure

Electricity generation in Kenya is liberalised with several licensed electric power producers, distributors and transmission utilities.

The net electrical energy from the power generating plants is bought by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) through power purchase agreements (PPAs) approved by the Commission.

The energy is then conveyed over transmission systems owned by KPLC or the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), both of whom are licensed by the Commission to provide transmission services.

Finally, KPLC carries out distribution and retail supply of the electrical energy to customers in accordance with licences and permits issued to it by the Commission.  The Commission also approves the retail tariffs charged for the supply.

Regulation of the Electricity Supply Industry

The Commission is responsible for economic and technical regulation of the electric power sub-sector and for this purpose, it has powers to:

  • issue, renew, modify, suspend or revoke licences and permits;
  • propose to the Cabinet Secretary regulations which may be necessary or expedient for the sub-sector;
  • formulate, enforce and review environmental, health, safety and quality standards for the sub-sector, in coordination with other statutory authorities;
  • enforce and review regulations, codes and standards for the sub-sector;
  • ensure compliance with conditions of licenses or permits;
  • set, review and adjust electric power tariffs and tariff structures, and investigate tariff charges, whether or not a specific application has been made for a tariff adjustment;
  • approve electric power purchase and network service contracts for all persons engaging in electric power undertakings;
  • examine and approve meters used or intended to be used for ascertaining the quantity of electrical energy;
  • license electricians and register electrical contractors;
  • investigate complaints or disputes between parties with grievances over any matter required to be regulated under the Act;
  • prescribe the requirements for accreditation of persons with appropriate skills to check accuracy of energy meters installed in residential, commercial or industrial premises;
  • impose sanctions and penalties on persons who are in breach of any of the provisions of the Act or any regulations made thereunder.

Requirement for licence or permit

A person wishing to carry out an undertaking or activity in the electric power sub-sector detailed in the first column of the table below will require authorisation from the Commission in accordance with the regulations specified in the third column.

An application for a licence, permit or registration shall be submitted online.

Resolution of complaints and disputes

Any person that may be dissatisfied with any aspect of a service provided by any licensee is advised to lodge a complaint directly with the licensee, in accordance with the licensee’s complaints handling procedures. If the complainant has exhausted the licensee’s complaints handling procedures and remains unsatisfied, he or she may refer their complaint to the Commission, providing documentary proof of contact with the licensee.

Full details of how one can file a complaint against a licensee are set out in the Energy (Complaints and Disputes Resolution) Regulations, 2012. (PDF)