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Columnists

Your electricity meter reading woes will ease

Timeliness and accuracy in billing are critical
Timeliness and accuracy in billing are critical factors in building customer confidence. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

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

I will update and reiterate some facts showing we have made significant progress in making billing as efficient as can be.

In the last two years, we have more than tripled our operational and technical efficiency through innovations.

Timeliness and accuracy in billing are critical factors in building customer confidence, winning their trust, meeting their expectations and are key to enhancing customer satisfaction.

In the recent past, we have aligned customer meters to respective electricity distribution feeder lines to reduce energy losses and improve operational efficiency. We have also upgraded customer service management system to enable efficient integration of customer service applications.

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

Traditionally, meter reading itineraries were marked by geographical features such as roads, building and rivers among other features.

The new 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 percent every month to minimise complaints related to estimated bills.

To plug a few system weaknesses, we have also put in place several control measures. Some of these measures include engagement of an independent ICT auditor to assess all KPLC Information Technology systems.

We have also enhanced the vending tool with in-built security while implementing an Advanced Threat Analytics that correlates user behaviour and tracks and reports 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 so that they do not fall victim.

Our customer education programmes cover sensitisation on application and payment for electricity connection, payment for bills, purchase of tokens and the authorised channels for payment.

We are not perfect; no corporate body 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 are making every effort to ensure we deliver improved customer experience at all touchpoints.

The writer is acting managing director, Kenya Power.

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