KP focus now on operational, technical efficiency

Monday, September 16th, 2019 00:00 |
Kenya Power. Photo/Courtesy

Eng. Jared Othieno

The last few months have thrust Kenya Power into the limelight with a series of misinformed accounts relating to our billing process.

I am, however, inclined to provide a number of updates and reiterate that we have made significant progress in ensuring that Kenya Power billing platform is as efficient as can be.

More importantly, we are fine-tuning the system, investing in new Information Technology infrastructure and reconfiguring the entire billing process so that we can minimise complaints.

In the last two years, we have more than tripled our operational and technical efficiency by adopting technological innovations aimed at improving business operations and customer experience. 

Timeliness and accuracy in billing are critical factors in building customer confidence and meeting their expectations.

Alignment of customer meters to the respective electricity distribution feeder lines to reduce energy losses and improve operational efficiency is one of the initiatives we have undertaken to improve the billing process.

We have also digitised our infrastructural assets and upgraded our customer service management system to enable efficient integration of various customer service applications.

The new system introduced last year, replaced  our two-decade old customer service system and now supports features such as remote user operations using various IT platforms; guaranteeing a better customer experience.

To reduce commercial losses, we changed our meter reading itinerary structure from geographical based structure to feeder-based structure.

Traditionally, meter reading itineraries (a group of meters that can be read by one reader per day) were marked by geographical features such as roads, buildings and rivers among other features.

The new itinerary structure enables clustering of meters around electricity distribution feeders to optimise the number of meters read in a day. 

With these measures in place, we are committed to improving meter reading coverage to more than 90 per cent every month to minimise complaints related to estimated bills. 

This new structure has paid off, as it allows us to monitor electricity sales to our smallest business units and effectively manage commercial losses. 

To plug a few system weaknesses, we have also put in place several control measures  including engagement of an independent ICT auditor to audit all KP IT systems.

We have also enhanced the vending tool with in-built security while implementing an Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) that correlates user behaviour and tracks and reports any suspicious movements in the system.

Internally, we have also enhanced controls in the billing system to ensure segregation of responsibilities and structured mechanism of approvals.

To further enhance customer experience, we are continually carrying out customer education on illegal connections and fraudulent transactions. 

We are not perfect; no corporate can say they are. The important thing is to keep on trying to be better, understand our customer needs and aspire to meet them.

And we have come a long way over the years, especially in improving system stability and reliability. 

As a utility, we have committed ourselves to continue making every effort to ensure that we deliver improved customer experience at all touch points. —The writer is the Acting managing director & CEO, Kenya Power

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