19 April 2015, Nairobi – KENYA Power will on Monday start a two-month aggressive debt collection and meter reading exercise to improve its revenue collection and recover outstanding dues totalling Sh3.9 billion.
The power utility firm said on Friday that it had managed to collect Sh10.86 billion out of the total debt of Sh14.72 billion its owed in unpaid bills by end March.
“This is an accumulated debt that we need to collect, Sh3.9 billion is not pocket money,” said Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo on Friday.
The debt, he said, is from unpaid bills that have been accumulating over a long period of time, Chumo said, though he has ruled out disconnections.
“If we disconnect these customers, the consumer loses an opportunity to use the power and we lose an opportunity to bill…we know where they are so disconnection is in the plan at the moment unless they become defiant or mischievous,” Chumo said.
The company which has only 722 employees in the revenue collection and meter reading department versus 2.3 million customers on its post paid network, said it will however not recruit new people for this exercise.
Instead, the firm which is undertaking massive cost cutting measures, will enlist 500 students on temporary basis from its training centre in Ruaraka, Nairobi.
“It will not be business-like to grow the number of meter readers as customers grow because it means we will be collecting revenue and paying wage bill with it which makes no sense,” Chumo said.
The company gets an average Sh2.8 billion monthly from postpaid customers, Sh0.7 billion from prepaid, Sh2.2 billion from small and medium enterprises and Sh5.2 billion from industrial consumers.
“Come Monday, you are going to see young men and women in white dust coats wearing their identity in your homes to check your meters,” Chumo said.
Kenya Power said it uses about Sh2,000 per day for one meter reader within rural areas, adding that the use of trainees from electrical related tertiary institutions would help keep costs in check.