If your electricity connection is prepaid, you must have gone through the agony of Kenya Power ‘conning you’.
In a nutshell, it works like this: Today you buy units worth 1000 bob, and receive around 75 units. You, therefore, assume that your consumption within a certain period is a 1000 bob.
A few weeks later, you follow the same process and buy units for a similar amount. However, instead of receiving the 75 units you got last time, Kenya Power gives you something like 12 units.
To the best of your knowledge, there has been no announcement on a hike in prices, so the only logical conclusion is that Kenya Power is stealing your money. You immediately put on your angry tone and call Kenya Power’s notoriously rude customer care agents.
The phone call lasts around 2 minutes, and it was basically a shouting match.
Well, it turns out there is a very good reason why 1000 bob will give 80 units today and 13 units tomorrow.
One Facebook user by the name Mwai Kibakii (I know) took time to explain how to make great savings out of the system.
Here’s the post.
Kenya Power Tokens Pricing Mechanism
One of the most frequently asked questions is the systems or standards used to price the K.P.L.C tokens. For example,a neighbor recently bought tokens worth sh 500 and got 33.5 units while I got 25.7 units after spending sh 200. Why do people who spend less get more units and those who spend more get more less units? There are some few facts that people need to understand.
First, during the first purchase of the month, you cannot buy a token worth sh 100 . The first payment you make during the month deducts sh 175 standing charge. Therefore, if you pay sh 200, you get a token worth less than 50 bob. If you pay 175, you will have only paid the standing charge only, and you will get no token.
Secondly, every time you buy a token, you pay VAT and other charges, but the standing charge is only paid during the first purchase of the month. If you buy tokens below 50 units in a month, the charge is sh 3.50 per unit (the figure keeps fluctuating, this was the charge mid last year). If within the month your token consumption goes above 50 unit, you are charged sh 13.68 per unit (as per June last yr).
So lets say on first of October u buy tokens worth sh 200. That money will pay a standing charge 175, VAT, and other few charges and you will only get tokens worth less than sh 50. Lets say about 6 units. The second time you buy during the month you will not pay the standing charge, so u might get about 27 units from sh 200. Now u have consumed 33 units. U have 17 remaining to hit the 50 unit mark after which the charge more than triples.
When u buy the third time with sh 200, the first 17 units will be charged 3.50 per unit, and the remaining will be charged 13.68. When you buy the 4th time in the month with sh 200, since your consumption has gone above the 50 unit mark, you will be charged 13.68 per unit instead of the 3.50 you were paying when your consumption was below 50 units.
So if the first time in the month you buy tokens worth sh 1000, there is a likely hood that after paying the standing charge of sh 175, the rest will buy more than 50 units, the units below the 50 mark will be charged, let’s say 3.50 per unit, and the units above sh 50 will be charged at lets say 13.68 per unit. That is why a person who buys a sh 1000 token will get around 65 units, and the person who buys tokens worth sh 200 three times gets about 52 units. So power is cheaper when you buy below 50 units within a month or when you buy in small denominations.
And here’s the official breakdown from Kenya Power.
There’s a calculator available for Kenyans to calculate bill/taxes costs which might save you a lot as you get to see what’s the best time to buy KPLC tokens.