Why KPLC estimates Kenyans' electricity bills

Ezra Manyibe | 3 weeks ago
File image of a customer keying in tokens on a KPLC prepaid meter. |Photo| Courtesy|

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has explained why Kenyans on occasion receive varying electricity bills.

Speaking during a panel on Citizen TV's 'The Big Question' on Thursday, May 23, 2024, KPLC General Manager for Commercial Services and Sales, Eng. Rosemary Oduor confirmed that the power supplier sometimes estimates consumer bills.

She was responding to a concerned consumer who sought to understand why one would spend Ksh2,000 on electricity for one month, and then be hit with a Ksh20,000 bill the following month despite running consistent operations.

Eng Oduor explained that KPLC estimates electricity bills for consumers sometimes when its staff are unable to obtain accurate meter readings.

She explained that this often occurs when the staff are denied access to the meters either deliberately or by accident.

“Bill estimation is usually a last resort when we’re unable to get a reading from the client. Some of the reasons that make us not get readings is denial of access to the premise; sometimes intentionally, many times not intentionally,” she noted.

“A lot of our people lock up their premises and got to work and we’re unable to access the meters. Some of them for long periods, and therefore when we finally are able to get access, there’s an accumulated consumption.”

Eng Oduor assured Kenyans that KPLC is working to end estimating consumer bills by introducing a raft of measures including introducing a system that automatically reads consumer electricity units.

“We have introduced self-reading; you register as a self-reader, when your reading is due, we give you an SMS prompt, you take a reading of your meter and send it to us and we’re able to do the billing based on that,” stated Eng. Oduor.

“Long term, we’re now introducing smart meters that communicate with us and we communicate with them; they’re able to give us the reading digitally, and therefore that will help us better be able to bill our customers with actual readings and without frequent estimation.”

She called upon members of the public to cooperate with KPLC staff in order to ensure accurate meter readings in future.

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