According to Kenya Power Managing Director Ben Chumo, this is money customers owed the company as at the end of March this year.
“In the first month we shall bill accurately so that no one will be complaining about anything about the bill. In the second month we shall collect the money and where necessary we shall disconnect at that point,” Chumo said during a media briefing on Friday.
The two month program will involve deployment of 500 scholars from its various technical institutions who will help in boosting the capacity of the already 722 employees involved in field meter reading and revenue collection.
The exercise is aimed at correcting estimated customer bills, detecting cases of meter tampering and recovering accumulated debt owed to the company amounting to the Sh3.9 billion.
“Majority of the students will be drawn from the Institute of Energy Studies and Research (formerly Kenya Power Training School) and other technical colleges located near the company’s branches in various parts of the country,” Chumo said.
Kenya Power attributes reasons for low meter reading coverage to inaccessible meter boxes which are usually located in locked residential premises, as well as inadequate human resources to match the growing number of customers which stands at 3.2 million at present.
In effort improve accessibility the company will be replacing the automated meter for its 5,345 industrial customers, with new outdoor meters which will be easily reached by the company’s meter readers.
“From Monday next week, you will be seeing young men and women dressed in white coats, and of course with identification to fix the new outdoor meters on nearest electricity poles to the customer’s premises,” Chumo said.
As at March this year, industrial and corporate customers owed the national power distributor over Sh2 billion which is the highest compared to ordinary customers whose bills stood at over Sh635,000.
In the long term, the power distributor plans to set up a new Meter Control Centre which will enable the readers to monitor the network at all times without necessarily having to go to the location.