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Umeme investment in power distribution infrastructure paying off

Umeme Managing Director, Selectino Babungi addressing the media during the dialogue at Golden Tulip Hotel Kampala.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Umeme Limited Nov.16 held a media dialogue to highlight the utility’s investments in the power distribution infrastructure.

Speaking at the event, Managing Director Selectino Babungi said Umeme had cumulatively invested over $500m in the distribution network. He revealed that the investments have led to the doubling of the physical infrastructure, improved efficiencies, tripling of customer connections, supply reliability and improved customer service.

“These investments are focused on restoration and expansion of the grid, reduction in energy losses, improvements in efficiencies, rollout of prepaid metering, connections of new customers to the grid” Babungi said, adding that they were aimed at “improving public safety, improved service delivery and reliability of supply.”

Babungi told the media that Umeme has also made tremendous improvements in its domestic and industrial service delivery with Yaka mainly for domestic, commercial and government customers, and covering up to 70% of the customer base.

The pre-payment system is convenient, efficient and reliable to customer. It allows them to control and monitor their electricity consumption

The platform has been integrated with all the major financial institutions, commercial banks, mobile money operators and points of sale service, Eezymoney and payway.

“Yaka as a product has helped the company improve its revenue collection to 99% from 80% in 2005 hence reducing energy losses to 17.5% compared to 38% in 2005 when it took over the management of the distribution network” said Florence Nsubuga, the Chief Operation Officer

The utility has also grown the amount of revenue billed to shs1,200b from sh160b in 2005, while electricity sales have improved threefold to 2,800 gigwatt hours from 1,015 in 2005. The distribution network has also grown from 250,000 customers in March 2005 to 1,000,000 as of June 30, 2017.

“It is worth noting, ” Nsubuga said “that this growth has necessitated the expansion of the network, leading to the construction of several new substations in Namugoongo in Kira municipality, Moniko to serve the Iganga industrial customers and Nagongera to stabilize domestic industrial supply in the eastern region.”

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