Kenya Power abandons plan to phase out post-paid meters


The firm had earlier blamed the meters for rise in customer defaults. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC, the electricity distribution monopoly, has retreated from its earlier plan to phase out post-paid meters in a move it had said would have ended payment defaults.

Instead, it has invited bids for supply of nearly 200,000 post-paid meters signalling a U-turn on the plan that was to see it shift to the prepaid metering.

The firm has invited manufacturers and suppliers of the gadgets to bid for the lucrative tender that closes on January 17.

“The Kenya Power & Lighting Company Plc invites bids from eligible tenderers for supply of (199,157) single phase post-paid meters,” said Kenya Power in a tender notice by Joyce Ochieng, its supply chain general manager.

The utility firm had earlier said it would switch electricity bill defaulters to prepaid meters from post-paid billing to reduce mounting customer debt.

The cash-strapped firm, expects to add more customers through the return of its Last Mile Connectivity Project that links homes to the national grid under a subsidised programme. It is meant to speed up electrification.

The utility firm earlier blamed its piling debts on non-payment of electricity bills by post-paid customers, shortage of meter readers, and disputed bills by households and industries.

As at 2016, seven out of 10 Kenya Power customers were on prepaid meters, according to official data.

In 2018, the firm was on the spotlight following claims of inflated bills and a glitch in its electronic payment system that made it impossible to top up tokens on prepaid meters.