July 25, 2016 / 5:12 PM / 3 years ago

Kenya raises electricity connections 116 pct since 2013

A woman walks her child to school past high voltage electrical pylons on the outskirts of Kenya's capital Nairobi, file. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has connected 4.89 million households to the electricity grid, a 116 percent jump from 2.26 million in March 2013, the main power distributor said.

Officials have been racing to increase access to power to support economic expansion, cutting connection charges for customers.

Access to electricity jumped to 60 percent of the population from 27 percent in 2013, Kenya Power, the state-controlled electricity transmitter, said in an infographic published in a regional weekly newspaper.

The rate is based on multiplying the number of households connected to electricity by 5.5, the average number of people per household, Kenya Power said.

It said electricity capacity rose by a third to 2,341 megawatts, mainly due to an extra 380.6 megawatts injected into the grid by generator KenGen since 2013.

Kenya Power said the extra capacity had led it to cut tariffs.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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