Kenya’s public utility company known as the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (commonly referred to as Kenya Power or KPLC among the locals) and which transmits, distributes, and retails electricity to customers throughout the East African country, is set to install smart meters at the county boundaries.
This move is meant to identify regions that use “stolen electricity” making the company incur a loss of billions of shillings as a result.
Tender for the supply, installation, and commissioning of the boundary metering units
The company has so far advertised the tender for the supply, installation, and commissioning of the smart meters – smart boundary metering units. According to the tender, the units include current transformers, voltage transformers, and smart readers to monitor electricity usage. They will be mounted on an H-pole concrete structure at the border point of two counties.
KPLC has about 200 border points and approximately 1,200 feeders of 11KV and 33KV spread across all the 47 counties.
The objective of the project according to KPLC is to ensure that each county accounts for the energy supplied in their area of jurisdiction.
Kenya Power’s system loss
The project comes approximately five years after the Kenya power’s system loss reached an average of about 18.8 percent.
System loss is caused by both technical components e.g. (losses incurred in the process of transmission and distribution) and commercial components e.g. (losses attributed to pilferages, faulty meters, and meter tampering)
The supervisory body has been allowing the state monopoly to pass up to 14.9 percent of the system losses to consumers but this has now been reviewed to 19.9 percent as of July this year.