Why Kenya Power sometimes calculates your electricity bills

Why Kenya Power sometimes calculates your electricity bills

Kenya Power General Manager Sales and Business Services, Eng. Rosemary Oduor, speaks on Citizen TV’s ‘The Big Conversation’ program on May 23, 2024. PHOTO | JASON MWANGI | DIGITAL CITIZEN

Kenya Power General Manager Sales and Business Services, Eng. Rosemary Oduor has revealed that the company does indeed make estimates of consumers’ electricity bills from time to time.

Eng. Oduor made the revelation on Citizen TV’s ‘The Big Conversation’ on Thursday night, in response to a question about why consumers sometimes receive bills that clearly vary from month to month.

The query was raised by Wycliff Omiti, Program Director of the Kenya Alliance of Residents Associations (KARA), who wondered about inaccurate billings in cases where a consumer spends Ksh2,000 on electricity in a slow month, but he gets slapped by a Kenyan. 20,000 notes simply because they spent that same amount in a relatively busier period the previous month.

According to Engr Oduor, Kenya Power, in fact, estimates electricity bills in cases where its staff cannot obtain accurate meter readings at consumers’ premises.

He noted that such cases include denial of access to electricity meters by consumers themselves, whether maliciously or simply by accident.

“Invoice estimating is usually a last resort when we can’t get a reading from the customer. Some of the reasons why we do not obtain readings is the denial of access to the premises; sometimes intentionally, many times unintentionally,” he noted.

“Many of our employees close their facilities and go to work and we cannot access the meters. Some of them for long periods, so when we finally gain access, there is accumulated consumption.”

Kenya Power GM went on to list a number of solutions the company has come up with to eliminate the worry of electricity bill estimates in the future.

This includes introducing a system that allows consumers to read their own meters and send the readings to Kenya Power when requested, or developing a smart system that communicates meter readings directly to the power distributor.

“We have introduced self-reading; You register as a self-reader, when your reading expires we give you a notification by SMS, you take a reading from your meter and send it to us and we can do the billing based on that,” said Eng. Olor.

“Long term, we are now introducing smart meters that communicate with us and we communicate with them; “They can give us the reading digitally and, therefore, that will help us be able to bill our clients better with real readings and without frequent estimates.”

He further added that: “We continue to encourage our customers to provide access to our meter readers so that they can access the meter and obtain the reading.”

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