File Photo: Kenya Power

Wealthy households in Nakuru are now part of the electricity theft syndicate often associated with informal settlements, aggravating Kenya Power Company’s commercial losses. 

Posh estates particularly on the outskirts of the Central Business District have become hotspots that harbour electricity stealing tricks, with their solid fences and gates providing comfortable cover, away from Kenya Power’s inspection radar.  

Kenya Power Central Rift Regional Manager  David Syengo confirmed that following an intensified crackdown to eliminate power pilferage over 20 households in the up-market Blankets estate were found to be irregularly connected to the power supply. 

Mr Syengo indicated that wealthier households have a higher power consumption and therefore any illegal connection is more likely to lead to higher losses for the power utility company.  

He disclosed that the firm was currently registering over Sh150 million per month in commercial losses in Nakuru due to illegal connections. 

The Regional Manager said six of the suspected culprits have been referred for a criminal prosecution, while a manhunt has been launched for others, as the utility took a hard line on the illegal connections switching off the power until affected households regularised their power supply. 

The inspection came after the utility company detected anomalies in the customers’ meters, raising a red flag over several suspicious connections that could be presenting a loophole for power and revenue losses to the company.  

Syengo added “We have uncovered a syndicate where power meters are stolen from their duly registered locations and illegally installed in other areas where they are used to steal electricity. It is the responsibility of every Kenya Power customer to report to us and the police if his or her meter is stolen so that preventive and investigative measures may be instituted.”  

He said registered meter owners may be held liable for breaches, making the scheme a risk for some consumers who may not be aware their connections have been breached by those seeking to consume free electricity. 

“The contractual responsibility to ensure that the meter is in good working condition and free from interference lies with the account holder,” Syengo said. 

He asserted that all the connections that were made outside their formal channels in the region will be discontinued to reduce losses. 

He said the company had heightened crackdown on those involved in the illegal connections as a way of cleaning its distribution infrastructure. 


“Illegal connections are harmful to the business in two ways: they lead to revenue losses, and pose a danger to the public because these connections do not meet the set standards for network design, construction and maintenance thus posing the risk of electrocution. In mitigation, we are making the requisite investments in our people and systems, and reviewing our processes to bring this situation under control,” Syengo explained. 

The company said it would also target defaulters as it partners with law enforcement agencies to stem losses even as it carries out customer education campaigns on the process of applying and paying for legal power connections.  

“As a company, our focus is to ensure that customers remain connected and reliably supplied with electricity. It is not in our interest nor is it our desire to disconnect customers since we will also be losing on revenue. In addition, the company policy with regard to disconnection has not changed,” the Regional Manager explained. 

Statistics from Kenya Power indicate that vandalism, meter tampering and power theft through illegal connections are costing the company Ksh 500 million in losses every year. 

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