Kenya Power has enlisted the services of community based organizations in three informal settlements in Nairobi County to curtail revenue leakages as a result of illegal connections.
The power distributor says the partnership it has forged with the organizations in Mathare, Mukuru and Kibera targets to improve service delivery and stem rampant electricity theft as it seeks to cut commercial losses estimated at Kshs. 2 billion.
“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 Kenya Power Managing Director Bernard Ngugi.
According to Ngugi, the firm will further open three offices in each of the informal settlements in order to effectively and efficiently address customer issues among others, power outages, bill queries and new connections.
“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.
Ngugi says the national grid has expanded significantly over the last five years, with high and medium voltage network growing from a total of 56,611km in circuit length to 84,681km by the close of the last financial year in June.
Over the same period, the customer base has increased from 2.3 million to 8.1 million while 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 benefited 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 firm said.
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.