John Ombui, KPLC
accepts the award
from Minister
Buyelwa Sonjica
 
Cape Town, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- May 21, 2008 - Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) was today named the winner of Smart Energy International’s Excellence Award 2008 for Africa.

KPLC was named the winner for its Umeme Pamoja (“customer creation”) campaign, which was aimed at reducing the backlog of unconnected customers from almost 40,000, and increasing the rate of new connections from fewer than 50,000 (at the start of 2005) up to 120,000 per year.

In order to achieve this, KPLC embarked on an extensive communication campaign, developed by a local agency Lowe Scanad, under the slogan “Life is good, make yours (even) better,” to sensitize potential new customers to the benefits of electricity as well as to improve its image more broadly. The campaign comprised a range of print, television, radio and direct mail advertizing and promotions, roadshows, the introduction of marketing officers within the ranks of KPLC, and the introduction of an anti-corruption hotline.

As a result of the campaign by mid-2007 the number of pending connections was running at around 11,000 and in the year 2007 there were 125,000 new connections. KPLC was also able to reduce the connection cost to Ksh32,500 (US$520) for peri-urban residents and KSh15,000 (US$240) for rural applicants, and to generate new revenue of Ksh115 million (US$1.85 million) through monthly billings.

During the current year through the campaign KPLC expects its customer base to exceed the target 1 million customers.

Notably also, as a result of the campaign the electrification level in Kenya has increased from 16 percent up to 18 percent.

The award was announced during the opening session of the 4th African Utility Week and presented by South Africa’s minister of minerals and energy, Buyelwa Sonjica.

African Utility Week, running from May 20-23, is the largest gathering of utility professionals in Africa and comprises Metering, Billing/CRM Africa as well as the co-located Generation Africa and Transmission & Distribution Africa, the high level Power Indaba and a comprehensive exhibition showcasing the latest technologies available in the utility sector.