KPLC starts installing pre-paid billing system


By Benson Kathuri

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) will abolish post-paid electricity metering system and replace it with a pre-paid system within the next five years.

KPLC Managing Director Joseph Njoroge said the company would in April embark on a pilot project covering 25,000 customers.

"We shall roll out the project over a five-year period at an estimated cost of Sh5.5 billion," said Njoroge when he signed a pre-paid metering system contract with Actaris Measurement & Systems on Friday.

The pilot project will cover customers within Nairobi’s Fedha Estate, Imara Daima, Villa Franca, Nyayo Embakasi Estate, Nyayo Highrise, Kibera, Woodley, Mountain View, Muguga Green, Hirani, Kasarani and Kahawa Sukari.

He, however, said consumers would not be charged to transfer from post-paid to pre-paid technology. Njoroge said though the pilot project will be completed in August, the rollout would be continuous.

"Any lessons learnt in the pilot project will be used to improve the new service," he said.

Pre-paid metering gives customers a visual indication of their electricity consumption rate and enables them to manage its usage.

The system will also save KPLC billions of shillings annually that is lost through theft and meter reading related costs. Njoroge said it would also enable the company improve revenue collection.

When the company unveiled the project three years ago, consumer organisations opposed it saying it would lock out millions of potential consumers who could not afford to pay upfront.

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