Kenya Power and Lighting company will soon introduce smart meters for consumers, a project that brings with it different dynamic s of operation. Today, a tangible number of companies are using digital platforms to communicate to customers as well as get feedback from them, the most common one being social media. Gone are the days consumers had no say over services and where postal offices were the main channels of communication.
KPLC is one of the companies whose communication channels currently social media platforms are jammed 24/7 probably because customer demand elevates by day. The company is looking to better its services by providing smart metres a redefined technology to ensure real time communication with customers.
The smart meters allow a two-way communication between customers and the utility provider with information sent via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). KPLC will be in a position to read metres units from their headquarters which means company personnel will not have to physically contact customers.
In case of need to disconnect power, this will also be done remotely with real time notifications sent to the customer. Among other benefits of the new technology is alerts in case of a planned shut down to the customer, alerts to the utility provider in the case of meter tampering and reduced operation cost for the power provider. This could mean no more fuel payments usually squeezed in monthly bills and faster reconnection of power in the case of a blackout.
Smart meters will help customers manage power use since they will be in a position to access historical consumption data as well as track current power consumption. Currently, the multi-million project is on a two-year pilot in which the company has selected suppliers in CBD, Runda and now in the process of selecting Kariobangi’s industries to help them a sketch on consumption in different parts of the city.
According to KPLC personnel in charge of the project, the company should install the smart metres in all homes by the end of 2020.