EPRA Wants Power Outages Minimised To Improve Service

The Electricity and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) is considering implementing measures to restrict the frequency and duration of power outages experienced by customers. Under the proposed plan, EPRA aims to cap the number of annual power outages per customer at 20, with further limitations on outage duration.

 Current data reveals that the average customer endured approximately 44.9 unplanned outages in the fiscal year ending June 31st, 2023. EPRA’s proposed service code seeks to limit the cumulative duration of unplanned outages, known as the System Average Interruption Duration Indicator (SAIDI), to 80 hours annually. Presently, customers face blackout periods totalling around 115.73 hours per year.

 In addition to reducing the frequency of outages, EPRA intends to mandate Kenya Power to improve the average duration of each blackout, aiming to minimize disruptions to customers. The proposed Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI) sets a maximum blackout duration of four hours per incident, down from the current average of four hours and 52 minutes.

 EPRA emphasizes that Kenya Power must transition to these new targets within one year of adopting the distribution code. Over a five-year period, further improvements will be implemented, aiming for a maximum of 15 unplanned blackouts annually, 45 hours of unplanned outages per year, and a maximum duration of three hours per outage. It’s worth noting that these regulations do not impact planned outages, which occur following advance notice from the power utility company.

 Meanwhile, there’s mounting pressure from businesses seeking compensation from Kenya Power for financial losses, equipment damage, injuries, and fatalities resulting from unplanned outages. While Kenya Power currently compensates for injuries and equipment damage, it does not provide compensation for financial losses incurred by domestic and commercial customers during blackouts.

 As EPRA moves forward with these proposed measures, stakeholders are hopeful that improved regulations will enhance service reliability and mitigate the adverse effects of power outages on consumers and businesses alike.