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September 24, 2018

Kenya Power adopts smart technology to monitor street lighting

Kenya Power technicians repair electricity line along the Likoni road in Nairobi on February 7. /FILE
Kenya Power technicians repair electricity line along the Likoni road in Nairobi on February 7. /FILE

Kenya Power will soon come up with a smart technology system to help in monitoring street lighting.

Managing Director Ken Tarus on Thursday during a public hearing on the harmonisation of the retail tariff at KICC said this will help reduce costs and avoid wastage of resources.

"There are some county governments that leave their street lights on even during the day. With the technology, we will be able to see which lights are on and off and at what time. We will be able to get alerts when lights go on and off and when they are off due to maintenance exercise," Tarus said.

He maintained they will continue collecting revenue from county governments as the only way to remain afloat even when some "block their entrance with garbage trucks".

The MD was speaking in relation to the incident last month where they had a confrontation with Nairobi county government after disconnecting power at City Hall for three days due to power arrears amounting to Sh732 million.

Read: Audit reveals massive irregularities at Kenya Power as MD vows action

 City Hall struck back by clamping and towing all Kenya Power vehicles parked in the city with a claim that they were illegally parked though it was established they were parked legally and Kenya Power had paid for three months’ parking.

Tarus, however, ruled out the possibility of compensating consumers for non-scheduled outrages, saying that is something beyond operations.

"As a country, we must look at this in totality. We have to look at the environment. But if this has to be done, then it must cut across all borders. This means if someone goes for a day without water then they must be compensated as well," Tarus said.

He acknowledged that there has been public outcry not limited to pricing but also in terms of complexity of the tariff and promised the company will come up with a billing system that is easy to understand and more friendlier.

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