With efforts to strengthen its service delivery to existing and new customers, Kenya Power has acknowledged the need as a business to embrace and utilise mobile telecommunication technology.
In 2015, the power utility integrated WhatsApp – a texting service for mobile smart phones – into its public communication strategy following an engagement meeting with members of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), who also fall under its large power customer category.
Leading mobile service provider in Kenya, Safaricom, recorded a 7.8% customer increase for the year ended March 2016, bringing the total number of mobile customers to 25.2 million.
Kenya Power turns to mobile App
The state utility explained: “Customers are divided into WhatsApp groups that provide a link between them and Kenya Power regional offices across the country.
“The WhatsApp groups currently cover manufacturers in Mombasa, Eldoret/Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Central Kenya and Athi River/Machakos chapters of KAM with plans to extend to other areas underway.”
According to Kenya Power’s managing director, Ben Chumo: “Kenya Power is continuously seeking innovative ways of improving service delivery to customers. Among them is creating partnerships with industry groups in order to reach out to their members who are also our customers.
“The WhatsApp groups provide a convenient engagement platform with large power customers and create a forum for them to put across issues concerning power supply thereby enabling quick response from the company.”
Improving overall power efficiency
According to a company statement, Chumo noted that the company will continue to embrace new technology and ride on it to improve service delivery in order to adequately cater for the growing number of customers.
Large Power customers, who are mainly in the industrial sector, account for about 60% of Kenya Power’s revenue generated from the sale of electricity.
Kenya Power has also been installing outdoor meters for large power customers in a bid to deepen use of technology to enhance efficiency in service delivery.
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 utility noted.