Kenya Power has halted the provision of multiple meters for housing unit blocks owned by a single customer in a strategy aimed at sealing revenue leaks due to illegal connections.
In new guidelines, the utility said that applications for meter separation will also not be processed, although sub-metering would be allowed.
“Management has recently revised guidelines on metering new connection applications. Going forward, there will be a provision of one meter only per plot where a plot belongs to one owner with multiple premises,” said Kennedy Ogalo, acting general manager, of infrastructure development at Kenya Power, in a memo to regional managers.
“This will imply that new applications from premises with multiple units like apartments, flats, and others, shall comprise only one meter. Therefore, meter separation applications will not be processed. Subsequent metering of the supplies will be sub-metering at the prerogative of the premises owners,” he said.
A sub-meter receives electricity from the main meter which in turn allows building owners to measure the electricity usage in individual units.
Mr Ogalo said the premises owner will be responsible for paying the electricity bill for the consumption recorded via the single meter from Kenya Power.
The new guidelines, however, exempt new applications in plots with multiple owners such as housing estates, apartments and commercial buildings with independent owners.
Kenya Power said large power tariff customers, government-related connections like affordable housing projects, and government-owned housing schemes, among others, are also exempted from its new guidelines on metering.
“Meter separation from exempted categories will be allowed,” said Mr Ogalo further.
To enforce the new metering rules, Kenya Power has set numerous process controls across all stages, right from application for connection to the power grid to actual metering.
It said only one supply would be created per application, where the premises to be connected with electricity have one owner despite having multiple dwellings such as flats, apartments, and others.
“At the design stage, the proposed network shall take into consideration the energy demand anticipated from multiple premises and culminate the same in a single account. At the construction stage, the prerequisites of this stage shall remain wayleave approval, submission of wiring certificates, and contracting the customer account. Execution of the scheme shall be as designed,” Mr Ogalo said.
Insiders said the new metering regulations are targeted at sealing revenue leaks through illegal connections and improving efficiency in the payment of power bills.
“There has been a lot of disorder with regard to individuals holding multiple meters. This came with the challenges of illegal connections and collection of revenue for electricity units used. It would be easier to enforce compliance when we have one meter under one name” the source said.
Connection of customers has been a challenge to Kenya Power, partly due to shortages of meters due to prolonged court fights over tenders.
The utility last month disclosed that nearly 300,000 customers are still waiting to be connected to electricity after it ran out of meters.
The severe shortage of meters has frustrated thousands of customers seeking new meters to replace their faulty or stolen meters. This has affected households, businesses and some crucial installations such as health facilities and schools.
The utility last month said it had 236,924 pending new connections but will connect them with power within 90 days following the procurement of new meters.