Kenya is set to disband the current system where oil marketers accept cylinders from rival brands during refills.
This means that soon you will not be able to exchange your cylinder for a different brand at your local dealer.
According to Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau, the new move is aimed at weeding out rogue dealers and boosting the safety of consumers.
The gas cylinder exchange pool system was introduced in 2009 through subsidiary legislation during Kiraitu Murungi’s tenure at the Ministry of Energy and cooking gas companies had to join by default.
Players were obligated to pay a fee to their rival towards covering deposit fee for the gas cylinder the customers exchanged during refilling at the competitor’s station but this created a huge backlog of debt.
Under the new proposed rules, release of bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to facilities not licensed under the regulations will see dealers attract a penalty of Sh500,000.
According to ERC records in August, 23 companies are licensed to import LPG.
Cylinder distributors are also expected to maintain records as prescribed in the regulations and failure to do this will attract a Sh50,000 fine.
Possessing LPG seals without the brand owner’s authority will cost culprits Sh20,000.
Unauthorised refilling will also attract a similar fine.
Dealers who obstruct inspection by ERC officers have also been placed under the microscope and will pay Sh100,000 each time they are found guilty.
Failure to report an LPG-related accident within 48 hours will be penalized the same way.
Despite the new regulations Kamau stated that gas cylinder prices will not go up
Mr Kamau, however, maintained the new rules would not impact on the cost of the cylinders to consumers.