NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – Kenya Power has partnered with Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in Mathare, Mukuru and Kibera in efforts to enhance service delivery and stem electricity theft.
This innovative partnership, which is in line with the Company’s wider commercial losses reduction strategy, will enlist the support and ownership of the local community whilst enabling Kenya Power to bring its services closer to its customers.
Kenya Power will also open offices in each of the three communities of Mathare, Mukuru and Kibera to effectively and efficiently address customer issues such as power outages, bill queries, and new connections among others.
The Company plans to recover at least KSh 2 billion in the three informal settlements through this collaboration.
“Under the partnership, the CBOs will act as the Company’s ambassadors and report issues to teams based in the new offices. Kenya Power will continue to carry out network maintenance and ensure that all customers in informal settlements are properly metered,”said Managing Director and CEO, Bernard Ngugi.
“We are confident that through this collaborative effort, we will achieve our goal to provide quality, reliable and safe power in informal settlements,” added Ngugi.
According to the CEO, the national grid has expanded significantly over the last five years, with high and medium voltage network growing from a total of 56,611 kilometres in circuit length to 84,681 kilometres as at end of June 2020. Over the same period, the customer base has increased from 2.3 million to 8.1 million.
In the Financial Year ending June 2020, total system losses stood at 24.7%. System losses are divided into technical losses which occur when energy is dissipated through the network, and commercial losses that happen majorly due to electricity theft.
The war on losses is one of the Company’s key cogs in its turnaround strategy, and in addition to the CBO approach, the Company, in the last financial year, rolled out a devolved county structure so as to increase its field presence and enhance accountability among staff.
Further to this, it is currently implementing a smart meter programme under which 6,623 large power consumers and 55,000 SMEs will have benefitted by 30th June this year.
The combined benefits of error-free data, prompt network problem identification, and audit of energy consumption will go a long way in enhancing service delivery to customers in the business sector.
The Company is also rolling out boundary metering and the goal is to install 302 meters within regional and county boundaries this year.
In addition to improving system efficiency by reducing losses, the Company’s turnaround strategy is premised on enhancing customer responsiveness, increasing sales, improving revenue collection, and managing costs.
This approach has begun to bear fruit, with the Company posting a profit before tax of KShs.332 million for the half-year period ended 31 December, 2020.