Kenya Power in fresh tokens hitch
Thousands of customers were on Friday unable to buy electricity from Kenya Power due to a system hitch that has also affected the payment of bills.
Kenya Power has not disclosed the source of the latest system hitch but said it was working to restore services to customers.
“We are experiencing a systems hitch which is affecting the purchase of electricity tokens and payment of bills,” the utility firm said in a statement.
“Our ICT team is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused.”
The glitch is, however, not the first to affect the company’s tokens system, having had two major system problems last year in March and November.
Both hitches were however solved within hours.
And in April 2021, the tokens system also went down for more than 24 hours, affecting thousands of homes and businesses.
The worst hit are businesses that rely on electricity such as salons, welding shops and laundromats, leading to financial losses.
This comes as the company continues to shift its business strategy to increase the use of prepaid meters in a bid to lower the outstanding electricity bills by its customers, some of whom are still on the postpaid system.
The company has some 9 million households connected to the grid including 6.9 million that are fitted with prepaid meters and 2.1 million on post-paid meters.
The utility firm last year went back to the market to procure some 5,000 new smart meters to replace its old meters that are prone to tampering which is one of the biggest revenue leakage areas.
Smart meters record the time of electricity use in hourly or shorter intervals unlike traditional accumulation meters, which simply record the total amount of electricity used.
On Friday, Kenya Power issued a profit warning, indicating that its net profit for the financial year ending June 2023 will be at least 25 percent lower than its profit for the previous financial year.
The company earned Sh3.5 billion in profit after tax in the year to June 2022 with the profit alert that was sent to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) on Thursday meaning the firm sees its earnings fall below Sh2.62 billion.