Kenya Power rolls out smart metering project

Kenya Power rolls out smart metering project
Kenya Power Managing Director and CEO, Bernard Ngugi connects a smart meter for an SME customer in Kisumu during the official launch of the smart metering project . [Photo/Kenya Power Care]

Kenya Power has rolled out a smart metering project that will benefit 55,000 customers in the Small and Medium Enterprise sector across the country.

The US $12.5 million World Bank funded project is part of the Kenya Electricity Modernization Project and is slated to be completed by mid-2021.

The smart meters are part of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure that facilitates two-way communication between the company and the customer.

In case of any outage, the smart meters are able to communicate directly with the company’s National Contact Centre which facilitates immediate resolution and enhances efficiency as the Kenya Power teams are alerted promptly. Additionally, the smart meter also sends a notification to the customer via SMS.

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Speaking during the launch, Kenya Power’s Managing Director and CEO, Bernard Ngugi said, “These 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 our customers in the SME sector.”

The move comes at a time when some of Kenya Power’s industrial customers are progressively shifting to own-generated solar power. Kenya Power recently revealed in its annual report that its sales revenues had plummeted due to the revolution towards renewable energies by some of its major customers.

“We believe that the advanced metering technology will further enhance customer satisfaction based on the visibility and prompt detection of power usage and also reduce technical losses which are key to ensuring reliable and quality supply of power,” Mr. Ngugi said.

The devices will utilize Google maps to determine the locations of all users across the country. The success of this project will promote transparency in billing, therefore reducing the conflict between businesses and the power company.

As the project covers 20 percent of the company’s SME customers, the company projects to have installed the smart meters for all SMEs by the end of the 2023/2024 financial year.