In a live studio interview at African Utility Week, Robert Mubiru, Project Manager, UMEME Uganda, talks about his presentation at the event which focuses on revenue protection, with loss reduction being at the top of the list.
Reducing electricity losses
Mr Mubiru says that energy losses in the country are a combination of technical and non-technical losses. There is a culture of non-payment but there are also distribution network issues which are to blame for revenue and energy losses.
In response, UMEME has applied appropriate technologies and customer outreach programmes to curb losses. More focus is now being placed on large power users which are UMEME’s “critical few” since they represent a small group but consume a large quantity of power. Real time monitoring solutions have been specifically set up for this group.
Improving customer engagement
Mr Mubiru says that UMEME wants customers to know that the company has its ‘finger on the pulse’ and that it is able to now act proactively when it comes to energy management and better customer engagement.
“It is early days. We can do a lot more to improve customer engagement. We want to give customers a sense of their importance to us. We have relationship managers (better known as customer service engineers) who work towards ensuring that the power quality and service meets with customers’ expectations.”
Another important focus for UMEME is improving power access which currently stands at 15%. The government plans to reach 40% by 2025. Many initiatives have been tabled from donors and governments and UMEME is aligning itself to the access agenda.
“Electricity is the key driver for economic development. By commercializing a society, there will be a quicker progression to a developed status. Access is the buzzword in Uganda now and there is so much potential.”