By Claire Wanja/Release
Kenya Power has confirmed that 5.9 million customers have been connected to the grid to date through ongoing government-led national electrification programmes.
Of these customers, 3.5 million customers are on prepaid meters, as the Company shifts to advanced technology that makes it easy for customers to purchase electricity.
“The number of households currently connected to the national grid stands at 63 per cent of the national coverage. The target is to connect 70 per cent by the end of this year and universal access by the year 2020,” said Kenya Power’s Ag. Managing Director & CEO Dr Ken Tarus.
He was speaking at a press conference held at Stima Plaza Monday where the Company sought to shed light on an erroneous media report which claimed that about one million customers were non-existent, based on the fact that they had not purchased tokens since the meters were installed and activated.
Dr Tarus added that all prepaid meters come with preloaded units, which account for the long time taken by customers before they commence vending, especially in low income households which are low consumers of electricity.
“Most of the customers who are beneficiaries of the World Bank’s GPOBA (Global Partnership of Output Based Aid), and the Last Mile Connectivity programmes are largely from informal settlements whose monthly consumption is 2 units on average. As a result, most of them take long to exhaust the initial pre-loaded units,” said Dr Tarus.
The number of customers connected to the national grid has been growing steadily over the last five years.
By June 30, 2012, only 2 million customers had been connected to the national grid, accounting for just 16 per cent of the country’s population with access to electricity. This figure had increased to 4.9 million customers by the end of the last financial year.