Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Kenya Power rolls out outdoor smart meters to large users

Steve Rogerson
May 17, 2016
 
Nearly 80 per cent of large power consumers in Kenya have been connected to outdoor meters as Kenya Power moves to deepen the use of technology to enhance efficiency. The outdoor metering project involves installation of smart meters atop a pole to ease access by Kenya Power staff and reduce disturbance to customers during reading and inspection of meters.
 
The undertaking is part of a smart metering project that will be subsequently spread to other power consumers.
 
The project is targeting all existing large power consumers. About 5600 outdoor meters will be installed near customer premises at a cost of Sh3.2bn.
 
Large power consumers account for about 55 per cent of Kenya Power’s revenue from electricity sales. To date, 4426 outdoor meters have been installed near customer premises.
 
“Outdoor metering is expected to streamline operations and consequently enhance revenue collection from electricity sales,” said engineer Rosemary Oduor, acting general manager for customer service. “This technology is critical especially at this time when the company is aiming to increase the rate of electrification in the country to achieve universal access by 2020.”
 
The smart meters support two-way communications between Kenya Power and the meters making it possible to carry out real-time monitoring of energy consumption and hence detect when any anomaly in supply occurs.
 
With the technology, it is also possible to read meters remotely, disconnect and reconnect remotely in the event of non-payment, reducing the need for sending technicians to the site.
 
“We introduced smart metering technology to enhance revenue protection and customer satisfaction,” said Oduor. “In addition to generating automatic surveillance alerts, smart metering enables remote meter reading, time of use tariff functionality, disconnections and reconnections of supply to customers.”