Kenyans will have to brace for higher prices in cooking gas following an announcement by Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Director-General Pavel Oimeke.

Oimeke observed that increased demand in the international market for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had caused the prices to rise.

The global price had increased by Ksh2,752.5 ($25) per tonne between September and October of 2020.

With the current price of 13-kg cooking gas retailing at between Ksh2,100 and Ksh2,200, Oimeke did not reveal the margin of increase within the local market.

“The price increase is as a result of the recovery of demand in India and Asia,” he disclosed.

The EPRA boss, however, noted that more and more Kenyans were using cooking gas in their household per capita consumption of LPG in Kenya had increased from 2.2kgs in 2013 to 6.4kgs in 2019.

“The increase is attributed to improved supply of LPG leading to higher penetration and also awareness creation on the benefits of LPG being one of the cleanest sources of domestic energy,” he stated.

Earlier in the year, LPG was removed from tax-exempt goods in the Finance Bill 2020. This translated to households forced to pay Ksh300 more for cooking gas. 

This was a turnaround from 2016, where Treasury scrapped the tax on LPG to cut costs and encourage households to leave kerosene and charcoal for cooking.

The government in May 2020 embarked on distributing 6kg cylinders to poor households. 

The Treasury has allocated Ksh3 billion for the purchase of the cylinders to be sold at a subsidised cost of Ksh2,000 inclusive of complete accessories under the Gas Yetu brand.

At the same time, the country’s inflation rate hit a six-month high in November shooting to 5.46% compared to 4.84 percent in October with the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel’s index, increased by 0.07% during the month.