This paper explores the dynamics of the development of grid-based electrification compared to off-grid electrification in Kenya. Consumers in Kenya who can afford to use electricity must choose to be connected to the national grid or to purchase a standalone system (usually diesel or photovoltaic generators). This decision is based not on price alone, but on the relative availability and reliability of the options. Although competition usually spurs growth, in this case it appears that the presence of strong off-grid choices may be hindering the development of the grid. If this is the true, energy planners might need to consider policy options which encourage the grid and off-grid markets to work as complements.