KPLC gets cocky as profits skyrocket… idiots flip the switch on the country

November 1, 2009 — Leave a comment

KPLC’s sat pretty last week on a  pretax profit of 4.78 billion shillings on revenues of Ksh. 36.46 billion.Their gift to its consumers was a countywide blackout today (Sunday, Nov 1st)  for a couple of hours in the evening. Kenya Power and Lighting (KPLC) is described on the wiki as the company responsible for electricity transmission and electricity distribution in Kenya. A national electric utility company, managing electric metering, licensing, billing,  emergency electricity service and customer relations. Hmmm…

Kenya Power and Lighting needs a competitor in the provision of electricity to the national grid, as the only thing they seem to do right…wait a sec even that they do wrong…is billing. I get fluctuations in my power bill of upto 5,000 bob and no I don’t operate a bakery from my kitchen (Once I was asked if I bake using an electric oven when I lodged a complaint at Electricity house). Being a parastatal and having a monopoly in power distribution is not good for business, thank god I don’t run a factory in industrial area! Rumor has it that government is seeking to establish a second power transmission company, as it drives its “light up the nation” campaign to connect more households to the grid.

KPLC shares at the NSE rose a good 12% (to Ksh140) last Thursday after their pretax profit jumped by a whopping 75%, I bet you this was due to the numerous guesses that they make when trying to figure out my bill plus the 30% increase in tariffs.

I find it  interesting that they use sms to tell me that I can now pay my electricity bill at this and that outlet but couldn’t send one to inform me, their customer that they have service kinks…especially when it affect the entire country!? I could set up them up with a consumer alert service that is plugged to their central control room. If and when a section of the grid is offline, customers who are along that line would get an alert text, which would specify if it is a scheduled maintenance or some other factor which they would be rushing to fix caused the outage, and when their consumers could expect to be back online.

On a light :-) note: their site (www.kplc.co.ke) seems to be down…did they also cut off their host? :-) I sorely wish I could aggregate all the Facebook updates that got their “energy” from the outage…also surprised (not) that it didn’t make it as a trending topic on Twitter.

Here’s to a “powerfull” week ahead…

Mbugua Njihia

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An Africa based entrepreneur in the pursuit of opportunities without regard to resources currently controlled striving to build services that have real-world value for my beloved continent and beyond while having fun along the way.