Economy

Kenya Power cuts blackouts duration by half on upgrades

keter

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Data from the Ministry of Energy shows that the average time customers stay out of power supply per month has reduced from four hours per month in 2016 to one hour, 40 minutes in 2020.
  • The data also show that response time to outages has improved with the average time customers are cut off supply to fix power lines having dropped from seven to four hours over the same period.
  • Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said although significant investments had been made towards improving reliability of power supply, more still needed to be done going forward.

Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC has cut the amount of time its customers are left in the dark by half in the last four years, reaping from billions of investments on its electricity distribution infrastructure.

Data from the Ministry of Energy shows that the average time customers stay out of power supply per month has reduced from four hours per month in 2016 to one hour, 40 minutes in 2020.

The data also show that response time to outages has improved with the average time customers are cut off supply to fix power lines having dropped from seven to four hours over the same period.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said although significant investments had been made towards improving reliability of power supply, more still needed to be done going forward.

“Our aim in the energy sector is not just to provide power but to ensure that the power which we provide to Kenyans is reliable, affordable and of quality. We have invested in measures to reduce power outages and we want in the next few years to have a utility that assures its customers of reliable power. We are not yet there, though,” Mr Keter said.

Kenya Power is said to have invested some Sh70 billion improving its distribution infrastructure by constructing new substations and undergrounding of power lines to reduce interferences that cause outages.

The firm has also procured specially customised trucks that are used to repair electricity lies without cutting off supply.

Through the upgraded substations, cities like Nairobi now have alternative power supply lines that keeps homes and businesses connected whenever one line develops a fault.

A 2017 study on the electricity reliability in Kenya found that Kenya Power was losing more than Sh2 billion per year from power outages.

The study by the University of Massachusetts found that most outages were caused by faults with just a few being planned by Kenya Power.

Shorter outages make for a key revenue boost for the utility service provider and is used to measure the country’s ease of doing business through quality supply of electricity.