Kenya Power on the spot as Kenyans unable to buy tokens

kenya power pre-paid tokens

Pre-paid electricity token machines provided by Kenya Power. 

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Kenya Power has issued a statement to the public after Kenyans took to social media Thursday to detail their frustrations with purchasing electricity tokens. 

Thousands of Kenyans are currently unable to purchase electricity through the utility firm’s pre-paid token system, which has plunged them into darkness and affected households and businesses. 

In a statement, the utility firm said the issue stemmed from a technical problem affecting the service. 

“We would like to inform our customers that we are experiencing a technical hitch which is affecting prepaid token generation and post-paid bill payment,” the firm said.

“Our team has identified the issue, and restoration of normal services is currently in progress so that customers can access the affected platforms soon,” it added. 

This isn't the first glitch to hit the company’s payments system. In April last year, the tokens service was down for more than 24 hours - affecting thousands of homes and businesses whose units had ran out.

Small businesses hardest hit by such hitches and blackouts include salons, welding shops and laundromats among others - leading to financial losses. 

Kenya Power has in the recent past sought to increase the number of customers using prepaid meters in a bid to lower the proportion of outstanding electricity bills, most of which are owed by customers on post-paid. 

Kenyans owed the company about Sh29 billion in unpaid power bills as at June 2021. However, the company managed to recover Sh900 million of this as at December 2021 following roll-out of an aggressive debt collection strategy. 

Kenya Power sold electricity worth Sh20.57 billion through pre-paid meters in the year to June 2021, up from Sh17.81 billion in the previous period, while Sh105.34 billion was earned from post-paid meters.

“The company continues to install pre-paid and automatic meters as strategies to minimise the risk of non-collection,” the utility firm said in its 2021 annual report. 

Update: Kenya Power says customers can now purchase prepaid tokens and pay for postpaid services after the technical hitch was resolved. See statement below issued on Thursday afternoon.