Power distributor Umeme’s losses dropped by about 15 percent in eastern Uganda last year.
Mr Paul Ssempira, the Umeme Mbale District manager says there has been an increase in the number of new connections from 3,541 in 2016 to 8,431 in 2017 (30 percent).
Eastern region also contributed up to 10 per cent of the 19 percent losses that the company registered at the end of 2016.
However, partly due to the interventions, the company recorded lower energy loss of 17.2 percent in 2017.
“The region alone registered up to 60 percent energy losses in 2016, but this dropped to 45 per cent in 2017. The 60 per cent of the losses are categorized into 45 percent commercial losses (Power theft) and 15 per cent technical losses,” Ssempira added.
This was possible because company launched operations against illegal power users in the area at the start of last year.
This was revealed during the opening of a new service centre in Pallisa town on Thursday in a bid to provide efficient, safe, reliable electricity and friendly customer experience.
“Our service strategy has always been focused on process simplification, automation and investments to improve network performance,” Mr Selestino Babungi, the Umeme Managing Director said.
He disclosed that more new service centres would be opened in Kapchorwa, Sironko, Bubulo and Kumi as part of the company’s grand plan to bring services closer to its customers.
The service centre in Mbale that has existed for 63 years has previously served 15 political districts, including Mbale Municipality, Pallisa, Budaka, Bulambuli, Bukedea, Kumi, Kapchorwa, Bubulo, Manafwaa and Sironko among others.
“We have 37 service centres across the country but some of them stretch over a radius of up to 80km, which makes it difficult for our customers to access some of the services. The opening up of several satellite offices will bridge this gap,” Babungi said.
In 2017, Umeme rolled out customer outreach programmes in rural areas with the aim of bringing services closer to customers including education on dangers of power theft and vandalism, safe use of power, energy efficiency tips and e-payment options[Courtesy:daily Monitor]