Kenya Power has officially commenced the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project for 55,000 customers in the Small and Medium Enterprise sector.

The project, which is funded by World Bank to a tune of Kshs.1.25 billion, kicked off in January 2020 and is set to be completed by 30th June, 2021. The project is covered under the Kenya Electricity Modernization Project.

The AMI comprises of smart meters that are linked to telecommunication and data management servers where data is conveyed to a central communication network. This enables the Kenya Power team to access information on any of the smart meters such as consumption patterns on a dashboard.

Speaking during the launch, Kenya Power’s Managing Director and CEO, Bernard Ngugi said, “The infrastructure will automatically measure the customer’s energy consumption and transmit this information to us and the customer. Similarly, the smart meters will send alerts to both Kenya Power and the customer should there be an issue with the meter enabling us to promptly address the issue.”

About 20% of SME customers will be operating with the AMI smart meters once all 55,000 meters are installed. So far, 6,000 smart meters have been installed across all regions. The power distributor also plans to have installed the smart meters for all SMEs with a consumption above 200 units by the end of the 2023/2024 financial year.

“We believe that this advanced metering technology will further enhance customer satisfaction based on the visibility and prompt detection of power usage and also reduce technical losses which are key to ensuring reliable and quality supply of power,” Mr. Ngugi added.

During the initial roll out of the smart meters in 2016, about 77% of Kenya Power’s industrial customers benefited from the project.