Smart meters Africa: Kenya Power installs 5,600 units

According to a local news source, Kenya’s primary energy distributor has plans to install 5,600 outdoor meters near customer premises, estimated to cost Sh3.2 billion (US$31,665,376).

The Star reported that the smart meters will be affixed atop a pole to ease access by utility staff during the reading and inspection of meters.

Commenting on the outdoor metering project, Kenya Power’s acting general manager for customer service, Rosemary Oduor, said: “Outdoor metering is expected to streamline operations and consequently enhance revenue collection from electricity sales.”

Smart meters for intelligent communications

[quote] The Kenya Power smart meters will support two way communications between the Nairobi-based utility and the meters, enabling real time monitoring of energy consumption. This gives Kenya Power the ability to detect any oddity in supply.

More than half of Kenya’s revenue from electricity sales comes from large power users states The Star. The utility has installed 4,426 outdoor meters near customers’ premises thus far.

The smart meters will assist Kenya Power to perform remote meter readings, disconnect and reconnect meters remotely.

Engineer Oduor added: “This technology is critical especially at this time when the company is targeting to increase the rate of electrification in the country to achieve universal access by 2020.”

Kenya Power reported a 10% increase in electricity sales for the half-year period ended December 31, 2015, growing to Sh41.66 billion (US$412,243,613.80). Distribution losses also decreased by 0.5 per cent.

The utility expects that the smart meters project will help to reduce complaints on bill estimation, often occurring when meter reading personnel are not able to access the premises or meters within homes.

The Kenyan government also passed a bill, which mandates Kenya Power to compensate customers should there been a prolonged “blackout” period without any forewarning.