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KPLC To Cut Off Illegal Connections

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KPLC connectivity . Photo Courtesy

Do you have legal power connectivity?

KPLC Managing director Bernard Ngugi says some connections were made outside their formal channels thus would have to be discontinued to lessen losses.

He said the company had a heightened crackdown on those involved in the illegal connections as a way of cleaning its distribution infrastructure.

“Illegal connections are harmful to the business in two ways: they lead to revenue losses and pose a danger to the public because these connections do not meet the set standards for network design, construction, and maintenance thus posing the risk of electrocution. In mitigation, we are making the requisite investments in our people and systems, and reviewing our processes to bring this situation under control,” Ngugi said.

Kenya Power has noted with a lot of concern that if anybody has an illegally connected electricity meter, he will soon be cut off from supply.

KPLC connectivity. Photo Courtesy

There has been public outcry as customers are disconnected from electricity mains for having been connected illegally. The customers, however, claim they have either been paying power bills or buying units through Kenya Power’s prepaid system.

The latest stand-off between the electricity distributor and residents of Makongeni estate in Nairobi has rekindled the debate on illegal connections and whether there is a need to formalize them to maximize revenue for the struggling company whose financials remain in the red.

The 6,000 households located along Jogoo Road first had their transformers carted away before they were reconnected. Kenya Power staff then returned to disconnect five transformers after the residents reportedly tapped power illegally from the line hence the current standoff.

Early this year, Kenya Power embarked on the disconnection of illegal power connections in some parts of the capital city, including Mlango Kubwa and Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums, where thousands were cut from the supply.

The company said it would also target defaulters as it partners with law enforcement agencies to stem losses even as it carries out customer education campaigns on the process of applying and paying for legal power connections.

“As a company, our focus is to ensure that customers remain connected and reliably supplied with electricity. It is not in our interest nor is it our desire to disconnect customers since we will also be losing on revenue. In addition, the company policy with regards to disconnection has not changed,” Ngugi said.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter recently told the Senate committee on energy that the defaults had hit Sh3.9 billion with the utility service provider now taking an extra hit on its depressed cash flow as customers failed to pay bills amidst the tough economic times.

Felicity Gitonga

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