Kenya Power plans to double the number of businesses connected with smart metres as it moves to seal revenue leaks by curbing power theft.
The firm is eyeing the installation of smart meters at the premises of 75,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) this financial year.
This will increase the number of SMEs hooked up to the meters that can enable the utility firm to track electricity use, monitor outages and read meters remotely to 142,000 from the current 67,000.
The move is expected to cut commercial losses, which has been a major headache for the electricity retailer.
System losses – a combination of technical losses (that are due to the nature of transmission infrastructure) and commercial losses – have rapidly risen to 24 per cent in the year to June 2021 from 18.9 per cent in 2017.
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The power retailer said connecting commercial customers – both large and small – to smart meters over the recent past has so far resulted in the growth of revenues from this cadre of consumers by eight per cent.
It has also helped in debt collection, with the time that bills remained unpaid coming down to 27.9 days from an earlier 34.6 days.
“We have so far installed smart meters for 7,000 large power customers and 67,000 SMEs. We have also established seven smart meter data control centres across the country,” said Kenya Power acting Chief Executive Geoffrey Muli.
He was speaking yesterday during the inaugural Manufacturers, Technology and Innovation Expo. “We have so far automated 100 per cent of the network in Nairobi’s industrial areas, and the next phase is targeting industries in Thika, Kisumu, Nyeri and Eldoret,” Muli said.
Kenya Power Chairperson Vivienne Yeda said that recent turn-around plans that the company had put in place are bearing fruits.