, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has launched a pilot project that will see 25,000 prepaid meters installed in Nairobi estates.
KPLC Managing Director Eng. Joseph Njoroge said on Wednesday that this was the first phase of the Sh1.8 billion prepaid metering project that will see 1,708 postpaid electricity customers at Kasarani migrate to the new meters and which will subsequently be extended to other selected estates such as Fedha, Imara Daima, , Nyayo Embakasi Estate and Kahawa Sukari.
“The technology will enable customers to purchase power units dubbed ‘Umeme Time’ to load in the same way they do for mobile phone airtime,” he explained adding that it will enable customers to visually monitor their power consumption rate.
Eng. Njoroge said the five-year project to be carried out across the country is a major shift from the current postpaid system as it will give customers control in managing their power consumption and avoid power disconnections over delayed payment of bills.
While acknowledging that many customers may have to wait a bit longer to enjoy the versatile system, Eng. Njoroge appealed for cooperation and patience during the changeover exercise.
‘Umeme Time’ will be available conveniently from vending units in all estates and shopping centres.
KPLC will benefit by decongesting its banking halls, collecting its revenue upfront as well as reducing its operational costs of disconnection, reconnection and meter reading.
The meters have been supplied by Actaris Measurements & Systems from South Africa, a global prepayment technology provider, which won the tender to supply the system for the pilot project.
A tender for an additional 250,000 prepaid meters has been advertised to facilitate a seamless rollout plan.