TRANSFORMING LIVES OF KENYANS
Kenya Power has been powering economic growth in Kenya for close to 100 years; with a legacy spanning 99 years. The history of Kenya Power is intricately interwoven with Kenya’s own rich history, as a country.
Today, our network covers a total of 248,834 kilometres across the country with over 8.2 million account holders; as a consequence, more than 70 per cent of Kenyans have access to electricity.
We span the length and breadth of this country, using ingenuity to bring our services to even the remotest and most difficult to access parts of the country through vehicles, boats, helicopters, donkeys and even mkokoteni to transport building materials and staff to site.
In the just released, ‘The Energy Progress Report for 2021’ Kenya has been ranked as the top country in the world for its increased pace of electrification, which is reducing the electricity access gap, especially in the rural areas. The report says, ‘Kenya has been ranked as the top country in the world in reducing the population with no access to electricity, pointing to the impact to the impact of the state’s focus on rural areas for nearly a decade.
The Energy Progress Report for 2021, a product of a partnership between the World Bank and bodies such as the International Energy Agency, says Kenya’s electrification pace is now ahead of population growth.
Kenya’s annualised increase in electricity access between 2010 and 2019 was at 5.6 percent-the largest among the top 20 countries in the world with the biggest electricity access gap. The increased pace of electrification, also supported by offgrid solutions such as solar, points to the fruits of the State’s last-mile connectivity programme, which was launched in 2014 mainly targeting rural areas.
Since 2013, our connectivity pace has accelerated to an additional 6 million households, over an eight-year period, catapulting the country’s electricity access rate from 27 per cent to over 70 per cent.
This pace has mainly been driven by the Last Mile connectivity programme, which was kicked off by the government in 2015. Under the programme, we have connected a total of 850,651 customers mainly in the country’s rural and peri-urban communities, thus connecting them to growth opportunities.
The Last Mile programme is, unequivocally, an investment in Kenya’s future and as a Company, we are proud of the work that we are doing to drive universal electricity access. Electricity guarantees people a life of dignity, and catalyses social economic growth. It is an enabler for every sector of the economy, be it manufacturing, agriculture, health, education, mining, tourism or technology and is therefore a core driver of the government’s Big Four Agenda.
For any business to register sustainable growth, the customer must be at the front and centre of all its operations. As a consequence, we are constantly reviewing our offering based on market developments, and customer feedback in order to meet our customers at their point of need. Some of the issues, facing our customers, that we must address and focus more on, include billing, outages, and connectivity. In response, we have introduced solutions to enhance their experience.
To ensure that the network operates optimally, in order to minimise power interruptions, we have rolled out a two-year programme to reinforce the network. This is a proactive approach to enhance network efficiency which involves the upgrading, uprating and replacement of transformers, trace maintenance to prune trees near our power lines, and line reinforcement to enhance the network’s robustness.
We are also leveraging mobile telephony technology to bring our services closer to our customers. To this end, we have introduced the *977# USSD platform and the MyPower mobile application which allow customers to quickly, conveniently and affordably enjoy a number of our services through their mobile devices.
Through *977#, customers can report an outage and instantaneously generate a reference number which is then picked up by our team for action. In addition, postpaid customers can register for the self-reading service to get their actual
monthly bills based on the meter readings they provide. On their part, pre-paid customers can access their last three tokens using *977# should the need arise.
To enable more Kenyans connect to the grid, and therefore enjoy the benefits attendant to having electricity, we are reviewing our connectivity process, to make the process faster, and more accessible. As a result, we have introduced the online application through which customers can conveniently apply for electricity remotely. We have also introduced an SMS tracking service to appraise customers whenever their applications progress to the next stage. In addition, the business is currently digitising its entire network and once complete, this will reduce the design stage of the application process, further reducing the connectivity turnaround time.
For our business customers, taking cognisance of the important role that businesses play to drive economic development, and job creation, we have introduced the Time of Use tariff, which offers power at a discounted rate during off-peak hours, to spur the 24/7 economy. So far, over 1,160 industrial and commercial users per month have benefitted, making savings of over KShs.4.3 billion.
To 100 years and beyond
As Kenya Power celebrates 100 years of powering our nation and transforming the lives of our people, our homes, our businesses, our academia, and our health sector, we appreciate the great strides that we have made and are determined to see a country that can proudly boast of universal access to electricity. Kenya Power will continue to walk hand in hand with our customers to improve the service we offer them at every touch point of our business.
Kenya Power will continue to play our rightful role to stimulate economic growth by striving to offer impeccable service, and quality, reliable and affordable power. As a business, Kenya Power is re-engineering our processes so as to embed customer-centricity service and culture, inculcate a culture of innovation, as well as enhance our efficiency and agility so as to become the energy sector, and business thought leader within the region and beyond.
KPLC is owned by the government of Kenya, with 50.1per cent shares, with the rest owned by private investors through the NSE. The Board of Directors is chaired by Vivienne Yeda, a globally respected and award-winning scholar, business
attorney and career banker and Director General (DG) of the East Africa Development Bank (EADB).