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Kenyan smart metering software provider SteamaCo secured GBP640,000 in funding from UK based investment bank ClearlySo to improve its operations.In a combined statement, the Kenya based metering solutions firm said it will use the capital to expand access to its smart metering and data analytics solutions especially in Africa.

The solutions developer serving 70% of Kenya’s off-grid microgrid market, said it targets to use the money to contribute towards improving access to electricity to some 1.3 billion people living beyond the grid globally by increasing the use of its solutions in mini-grids and agricultural irrigation businesses.

[quote] Harrison Leaf, CEO of SteamaCo commented: “Not so long ago, Europe and the US worked out how to electrify the countryside. Today, Africa and Asia face a similar challenge.”

Andrew Reicher, an investor with SteamaCo added: “Over the last few years, mini grids and productive end use applications, such as water pumps and mills have received less focus and policy support than we would have expected. The key to mini grids to play a bigger part in meeting the energy access challenge in Africa, is the smart and robust metering and control systems…”

Smart metering Kenya

The news follows early March's announcement by Kenya Power that it has decided to connect large power consumers to outdoor meters in a bid to improve revenue collection and boost efficiency.

According to a local news source, Kenya’s primary energy distributor has plans to install 5,600 outdoor meters near customer premises, estimated to cost Sh3.2 billion (US$31,665,376).

The Star reported that the smart meters will be affixed atop a pole to ease access by utility staff during the reading and inspection of meters.

Commenting on the outdoor metering project, Kenya Power’s acting general manager for customer service, Rosemary Oduor, said: “Outdoor metering is expected to streamline operations and consequently enhance revenue collection from electricity sales.”

The Kenya Power smart meters will support two way communications between the Nairobi-based utility and the meters, enabling real time monitoring of energy consumption. This gives Kenya Power the ability to detect any oddity in supply.