KE’s distribution network spans across 6,500 km2 serving a customer base of over 3.4 million consumers. We supply our customers through power lines, substations and pole-mounted transformers, and our network is divided into 30 distribution centres.
Our distribution network comprises (as of FY 21):
Transmission and Distribution Losses
Energy losses occur in the process of supplying electricity to consumers due to technical and commercial reasons. Technical losses are due to energy dissipated and are inherent in any system. These can be reduced to an optimum level through technological investments. Commercial losses however are caused primarily on account of theft or illegal abstraction of power.
Over the last several years through on-going efforts KE has succeeded in reducing line losses and improving recoveries in several areas o f Karachi. The utility remains focused on further improving the situation through continuous process enhancements and several pilot projects are being explored.
Annual T&D losses for FY 2023 stood at 15.4%, a decrease of 20.5% since 2009.
T&D Losses (%)
– Customer-focused business relations through:
- Efficient Integrated Business Centres for consumer service (all solutions under one roof)
- An exclusive corporate desk to handle consumers with a load requirement of 1MW and above
- A dedicated department which manages public sector consumers
– Highly professional and skilled staff: we organise comprehensive training and development programmes to enhance employee productivity.
External challenges include:
- Meeting demand in Pakistan’s largest city, with its rising population and mushroom growth of unleased areas and multi-storey buildings
- Uncertain law and order situation
- Politically influenced culture
- Cumbersome legal procedures
Distribution Losses (%)
• Supply management (Segmented Load-shedding) under a Reward and Reprimand policy and today over 70% of the city is load-shed free with 100% exemption given to industries.
• As of FY 23,KE’s Distribution losses are 14.6%.
Distribution – Recoveries
Recovery Ratio (%)
- 100% recovery ratio from industrial consumers.
- A massive crackdown campaign was launched against defaulters and electricity theft in line with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2016 and all such consumers were given the opportunity to opt for convenient payment plans to clear their dues.
- Payment plan in low income areas made easy and convenient through rebate and token payment options and special installment plans, enabling company to get defaulters on board.
*PSC: Public Sector Consumers
Project Sarbulandi was launched in FY20 with a vision to eradicate load shed in Karachi. The project aims to improve network health to provide safe and reliable electricity, through complete installation of – Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC), mitigation of commercial losses and uplifting of areas through community engagement activities. Coupled with an effective governance mechanism to support the investment made will help in achieving Loss Reduction and improving recoveries in these chronic areas.
The project involves converting bare conductor into ABC to reduce theft and safety hazards. With more reliable way of conducting electricity, the project has been successful in reducing load shed in high loss areas with provision of safe and uninterrupted electricity. Through the project, KE aims to impact 10 million lives by engaging the communities, uplifting the areas through initiatives such as provision of clean drinking water, clean up drives, and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure. As part of its aim to uplift the areas, KE has created 800 new jobs, resources for which are being hired in the areas which will be directly affected by the project. Furthermore, approximately 8000 people have received free treatment at healthcare camps organized by KE, while many consumers have received amnesty for their outstanding dues to ease their transition out of the defaulting category. Translating the efforts of Project Sarbulandi, KE has been successful in converting one of its largest High Loss IBCs i.e., IBC Orangi 2 into Low loss IBC, being the first Sarbulandi IBC to attain low loss status. Due to significant investment and on-going governance, a reduction of load shed by at least 4 hours has been recorded.
Over 12,500 PMTs have been converted onto ABC network till date, improving network stability. Moreover, approximately 373K meters have also been installed through a low-cost meter scheme till date.
KE remains steadfast in its initiatives to improve recoveries and eradicate theft and after notable results of Sarbulandi Initiative, KE launched Governance Strategy under HumQadam Governance in October 2022. The execution strategy has been implemented on certain identified pool of chronic areas where massive disconnections, removal of illegal extraction of electricity, prevention from theft and constant follow ups on recovery and installation of meters were required. Till date, more than 400k consumers have been tapped and over 73K Kgs of illegal connection have been removed.
Customer Facilitation Centers (CFCs)
To provide seamless services to its customers and resolve queries and complaints, KE has been facilitating customers through its Customer Facilitation Centers across the city. By providing customers with a dedicated facility to address their concerns and needs while providing one window solution for bill acceptance in a secured environment, KE has expanded its Customer Facilitation Centre (CFC) with Bank Booth to seventeen locations citywide.
Facilitating customers on their doorsteps, IBC on Wheels is one of its kind of initiative undertaken to ease customers’ experience of payment and support. Thirteen mobile branded vehicles functioning as movable camps visits various neighborhood across the network specially the far-flung areas where customer care centers are at a distance. Customers can approach the IoWs for their billing complaints and queries, duplicate bill, and bill instalments. Moreover, customers can also pay their bills on-spot through available payment facility.
Dupont Process Safety Management
K-Electric is in the process of adopting Dupont PSM system to further enhance HSEQ Performance across all divisions. Dupont Process Safety Management is an internationally recognized safety management system bringing safety systems and culture that ensures better corporate reputation among investors, customers, and communities. It also increases productivity and quality, reduces turnover rates, and enhances employee motivation and commitment to safety resulting in risk mitigation.
ITo ensure efficient storage, access, transmission & analysis of data, KE aims to digitize its processes to secure information and formats and interlink for better trend analysis and further improvements. HSEQ-D will be digitized through the introduction of various safety data related modules that will enable centralization of data and provide a single source of truth to everyone within the company to monitor various safety related KPI’s and identify areas of concern. The following modules are to be implemented:
- Hazard Reporting and Mitigation Module
- Incident Reporting Module
- Audit & Compliance Module
- Training Module
- Risk Management Module
- Management Safety Audit Module
- Document Record & Control Module
Ceil Mounted Fire Extinguishers in Substations
To protect substations against any fire incident at incipient stage, KE is initiating a process of installing Ce0il Mounted Fire Extinguishers in substations. It is fitted with automatic sprinkler head that operates at 68⁰C and a pressure gauge for routine inspection. These will save KE from human and asset damage in case of any fire as the automatic systems will detect and extinguish fires immediately.
Revolutionizing Meter Reading with OCR Technology
K-Electric has modernized its meter reading process by providing state-of-the-art HHU devices to meter readers, which enables them to digitally record meter readings and transmit them wirelessly to the back-end billing system. Additionally, they take pictures of the meter, which are printed on the consumer bill to increase customer trust. Looking to the future, K-Electric is exploring OCR technology, which will automate the meter reading process by extracting meter readings from pictures taken by the meter reader. By doing so, K-Electric aims to reduce the risk of errors and increase accuracy, making the process more efficient and convenient.
Planning and Engineering
As one of Pakistan’s most innovative utility companies, KE has implemented many technology initiatives. The company was the first to roll out Smart Meters at the Distribution Transformer level, which has greatly improved our ability to accurately measure and monitor multiple electrical parameters at the distribution transformer level. KE was also the first to implement the MDMS analytics solution, which enables advanced analytics and decision-making capabilities. Additionally, KE was the first to digitize its entire network on Arc GIS, followed by the implementation of the Arc FM layer, which brought electrical intelligence to their GIS system. This has greatly improved its ability to manage, analyze, and visualize its vast network of power distribution. Now, KE is planning to implement ADMS (Advanced Distribution Management System) solution which will further enhance its ability to manage and control the distribution network in real-time, improve system reliability and customer service. Overall, KE’s adoption of these technologies has greatly improved its overall performance and ability to meet the needs of its valuable customers.
Continuous improvement through Data Driven Closed Loop Improvement Cycle
Deploying the closed-loop methodology to monitor the performance of KE’s distribution network, team Data Analytics & Performance Improvement has been collecting and analyzing data on weekly basis. This approach has generated several initiatives related to Process Improvement, Design Review, Fault Diagnosis & Analysis, Standardization etc. out of which many have been successfully completed resulting in optimized processes and data visibility.
This has led to improved efficiency, and overall performance of network. A comparison of two major network indices improvement is given below:
Mobile Workforce Management (MWN) Solution for CM (AOCs)
MWM solution is an in-house initiative based on KE Complaint App for in-dash units deployed in CM fleet, to ascertain real-time fault status tracking & on-spot material consumption recording by CM Field Force. The rollouts for 300 in-dash units across 09 clusters have been completed in February 2022. This has significantly reduced technical fault’s turn around time by mitigating manual communication with the field staff through process automation. Moreover, it has helped in performance benchmarking of technical staff and maintaining audit trail of material consumption trends for fault rectification activities.
Reflection of Faults’ (Estimated Time of Resolution) ETR at Customer Touchpoints
Post successful implementation of mobility devices, TPCM team made further enhancement in android-based application for the Site Supervisor to add an ‘Estimated Time of Resolution’ (ETR) against each fault, which could be reviewed by the back-office staff for planning and scheduling of queued faults. Furthermore, to enhance Customer Satisfaction index in line with Customer Centricity, TPCM team is putting efforts to provide visibility of ETR to Customer Care Representatives, Digital Media Representatives, and Customer Touchpoints including KE-Live App, WhatsApp, and IVR. This will enhance Customer Experience with respect to visibility/awareness of the ‘Estimated Time of Resolution’ as provided by Customer Services.
Reactive to Periodic PM
The Periodic PM (PPM) regime has been introduced to increase network reliability and monitor asset health. For this purpose, a framework for Distribution Transformer is designed to decrease frequent breakdown and make it robust and reliable by performing its Health Index based Inspection and Maintenance. Also, a system-based workflow for scheduled Inspection and Maintenance is under development. In this regard, a successful test-run of DTs Framework has been performed on Substation Transformers at TSW followed by CM workforce training on PPM Inspection checklist.
Lean Implementation in TSW
For the first time in KE, we are going to implement Lean Process Manufacturing to enhance TSW’s production process efficiencies and to optimize inventory levels. Starting from, AS-IS process modelling of 07 workstations and quantification of the process TAT via on-field Time-Motion Study. This gave actionable insights into the value-additive and non-value-additive elements. In due course, a roadmap will be designed to minimize non-value-additive processes via Lean Tools to achieve maximized throughput and process effectiveness.
The GIS platform has been upgraded with a smart add-on to make the digitization work utility-specific and to further induce electrical intelligence. Easy-to-use web access has been provided to all the users in the company where they can perform advanced functions such as network tracing, geometrical measurements, universal searches, etc. The continuing focus of the team is to have the GIS integrated with other existing systems and to make it a sole source of the network hierarchy and a medium for efficient enterprise asset management. A hybrid team has been set up to bring the last layer of the network (low-voltage) on the GIS platform, therefore, providing complete grid-to-consumer visibility. This project has started recently, and the team members are equipped with smart tablets to speed up the efforts in a paperless environment.
MDMS (Meter Data Management System) Analytics module has been made live for automated monitoring of network KPIs and energy accounting at Distribution Transformer-level. This solution provides detailed analyses of Technical & Commercial Losses, billing & revenue, and network health & reliability. This has also enhanced governance via data availability, asset tagging, network hierarchy and consumer mapping. Its generated reports are providing insights into customer usage patterns and behaviors thus aiding in identifying and addressing customer issues more proactively.