The fifth session of the Energy #ConsumerDialogueForum will be held on January 31, 2018 from 8.00 am to 11.30 am at a Mombasa County Hotel.
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Cofek will be partnering on the "Consumers Dialogue Forum" to discuss energy sector regulation as relates to consumer protection.
ERC is mandated to regulate Licensing; Enforcement and compliance; Complaint and dispute resolution; Tariff setting and Energy planning.
The meeting will be discussing petroleum, electricity and renewable energy regulation from a consumer and market perspective. Issues around tariffs and licensing will equally be discussed.
The Mombasa meeting comes at a time Kenyan consumers are reeling under the ever-rising electricity bills. Cofek wants to use the occasion to put ERC and KPLC to account as well as realize a roadmap to affordable electricity.
On petroleum, the #ConsumerDialogueForum will discuss the aspects of quality and quantity of fuel and cooking gas (LPG). Talk of adulterated fuel in the market has been rife. On the other hand, there are many consumers who feel that calibration of the quantities of fuel is not in consonance with what they pay. Less value for their money.
Still on LPG, the meeting will explore aspects of the market-driven campaign to reinstate unique valves. Its understood that ERC is conducting a study to inform the decision. Cofek has been on record opposing the move.
Total Kenya has also refused to accept empty containers from its' rivals even as the Ministry of Energy says that a holding company is being put in place to manage the cylinders pool after delays in payment for their use was delayed by some oil marketing companies.
Another issue on LPG is whether or not LPG should be brought into monthly price-setting arrangement akin to fuel - announced every 14th day of the month.
Ministry of Energy has advertised a bid for 700,000 units of Meko gas (6kg cylinders with burners) to be offered to poor homesteads in the quest to reduce use of kerosene. An earlier batch of 400,000 units were bought by National Oil Company of Kenya.
On electricity, consumers will be keen to know how well tariffs can be predictable, timely readings and billings as well as checking costs of variables such as Forex, Fuel charge. Other taxation such as the newly introduced escalation/de-escalation charges for compensating the oil marketers on pass-through costs will come into focus.
Still on electricity, major projects like Last Mile will be of interest to many consumers in as much as energy saving bulbs as well as quality of market cables will be discussed.
On renewable energy - solar and wind - among others, consumers will be keen to know level of investment and uptake into the national grid and implication on end-user pricing.
On thermal generation, the consumer will as always, be keen to know when the expensive thermal IPPs (independent power producers) like Aggreko will shut down considering increased use of geothermal energy.
Other cross-cutting issues like negotiation of PPA's (Power Purchase Agreements) will be important.
Comparative review reports of Kenya's energy sector vis-a-vis those other countries - often done by World Bank - would come in hand to check for instance: electricity connections to staff ratio; Number of days for new connections; service charters among others.
The #EnergyDialogueKE forum is open to consumers, the market players, government, professionals, practitioners and students of the energy sector.
Cofek appeals to representatives of oil marketers as well as institutions training energy experts in Kenya to attend
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