FAQs for SME upgrading from Single Phase to 3-Phase

What does the Upgrade from Single Phase to 3-Phase promotion entail?

The promotion is a call to SMEs who are operating on single phase electricity supply and are interested in up-grading to 3-phase supply to register their interest by sending an SMS to Kenya Power. The interested ones should send SMS to the number 95551 in the format: SME followed for their electricity account number, followed by the name of their business (SME acc No########, name). Alternatively, they can send an email to sme@kplc.co.ke.

Who qualifies as an SME in terms of electricity consumption?

This promotion is targeting small businesses who have the potential of expanding but they are limited by the single phase power supply. The small businesses who could be operating from homes, commercial centers or towns all qualify for the upgrading.

How will a small business benefit from upgrading from single phase to 3-phase power supply?

A small business can easily expand its production and operations once they are connected to a 3-phase power supply. A small business can expand by:

  • Using electrical equipment to do some processes faster instead of manually
  • Add machinery and equipment e.g store products on freezers, ovens for bakeries, milking machines, hair dryers for salons, welding machines, carpentry machines, maize millers, and packaging machines among many others. 

Using electrical equipment means faster processes and faster income while adding equipment means more profits and growing the business much faster.

Another benefit from upgrading the supply is that the customer will enjoy a cheaper rate of Ksh. 8.96 instead of Ksh. 18.57 once the usage exceeds 15,000 units per month.

What problems arise when a customer’s power supply exceeds the demand or usage?

Whenever the demand of electricity usage exceeds the supply capacity of electricity, the user begins to experience problems for example as the demand approaches the maximum capacity, it becomes slow in operating equipment e.g slow heating, dim lights and loss of equipment power.  Sometimes exceeding the capacity lead to tripping or fuse blowing. 

Why is Kenya Power asking for small businesses to register by sending an SMS?

The businesses who are interested in up-grading the supply from single phase to 3-phase need to let Kenya Power know through sending an SMS or email and so that Kenya Power will know where they are located and they can contact them and access their business needs for the upgrade.

Why is Kenya Power interested in assisting SMEs in need to upgrade from single phase to 3-phase?

This promotion is one of Kenya Power’s Customer Service efforts to address the power supply needs of its customers. This will ensure that no customer is limited in their power usage because of limited capacity of electricity supply. 

How will Kenya Power come in to assist the Small and Medium businesses in need of up-grading their single-phase electricity supply to 3-Phase?

Once the interested SMEs have sent their details by SMS or Email to Kenya Power, the company will assess the needs and select those who truly qualify for the up-grading to 3-phase. Those who are selected for the up-grade will upgraded by Kenya Power without any up-front charges, but rather by a soft loan that will be repaid by the SME customer over a period of time.  

How will the soft loan be re-paid to Kenya Power?

Kenya Power will extend very easy and friendly re-payment terms to the customers which will be recovered through their monthly electricity bills.

What of the businesses operating from a rental premises?

The upgrade will be discussed with the premises or house landlords so that they agree to the up-grading of electricity if the business qualifies for the up-grade to 3-phase.



General FAQs during the Radio Promotion


What investments is Kenya Power putting in place to ensure reliability of Power?

Kenya Power has been working on several projects aimed at improving the power reliability and reduce power outages. Some of the projects include upgrading old infrastructure that are prone to faults, constructing more sub-stations to be able to stabilize and isolate areas of supply so that faults and outages are not widespread.

Why does Kenya Power need to have planned power shutdowns?

Planned power shutdowns are essential for safety reasons when carrying out operations on the lines such as connecting lines to new customers or maintaining and repairing existing lines which cannot be carried out with the power supply on.

Why do people get different units when loaded with tokens at different times?

The main reason for variation of units when buying tokens are:

  1. The is a monthly charge of Ksh. 178 which is charged only once a month, so if the customer buys units more than once during one month, then the monthly charges will be taken only the first time they buy in that month.
  2. The electricity tariff rates vary with the consumption or number of units per month i.e the rate for 0 to 50 units bought in a month is Ksh. 2.50 only. If the customer buys more units above 50 units in the same month, the rate that applies is Ksh. 13.65 for 51 units up to 1,500 units.

However, Kenya Power has been tasked by the government to increase electricity access to 70% by 2017 and this means having to connect 1.5 million customers by June 2017. This means that Kenya Power has to do its best to connect customers as quickly as possible to meet this target.

What about the program to connect at Ksh. 15,000 and what is Last Mile?

The government together with donor agencies introduced a program to connect new ordinary domestic customers to electricity at a subsidized rate of Ksh. 15,000. This program is what is being termed as the Last Mile Connectivity Program. The aim is to connect as many Kenyans as possible to the electricity grid, however this is being implemented in phases. The first phase of this subsidized connection starts with connections from a selected number of transformers across the country. This will be followed by the 2 and 3rd phase which are already being set up for implementation.