Bill seeks Sh1m ine for illegal power use
Proposed changes to law also spell out jail terms for offenders
Homes and businesses making illegal power connections and disconnections will pay an increased minimum ine of Sh1 million if proposed changes to the law are adopted.
Homes and businesses making illegal power connections and disconnections will pay an increased minimum fine of Sh1 million if proposed changes to the law are adopted.
The stiffer fine included in the Energy Bill 2017, which was tabled in Parliament last week, also spells out a jail term of at least a year for the offenders.
This is an upgrade of the current law that has a maximum jail term of one year and capped the fines at Sh1 million, allowing the courts to impose penalties of as a little as Sh50,000 for those in breach.
The Bill, however, retains provisions that would allow Kenya Power to discontinue provision of electricity to homes found in contravention of the law.
“In any case where the person who commits an offence is the consumer, the licensee may also discontinue the supply of electrical energy to the premises of such consumer or abstain from resuming such supply,” says the proposed Bill.
The electricity distributor has previously said illegal connections cost as much as Sh1 billion in revenue leakages.
An October 2016 investigation by the Business Daily revealed that Kenyans were being swindled out of thousands of shillings by conmen making fake connections.
Following the exposé, Kenya Power moved to arrest at least 60 people countrywide and brought them to court, mostly on charges of illegal connections.
In punishing electricity disconnections, the law would probably hit hard landlords that have the penchant to punish late payment of rent by cutting off the power, imposing illegal blackouts on tenants.
The higher penalties proposed in the Bill will also apply to consumers found using electricity for purposes other than what has been declared to Kenya Power — for instance, commercial users masquerading as residential users.