Revenue assurance gives utilities fair footing for growth, just transition

Revenue assurance gives utilities fair footing for growth, just transition


by Hannes Venter, Industry Value Advisor: Utilities at SAP Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, 30 November 2022 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- No company can survive a consistent loss in revenue. When companies fail to collect the revenue owed for services rendered, it puts pressure on their cash flow that could leave them unable to cover their operational costs, struggle to grow, and even enter into decline. 

This is proving abundantly clear in the African utilities sector, where non-payment, consumption-based fraud, illegal connections and other factors are costing billions in lost revenue. 

Power utility Eskom recently revealed that more than half of the electricity purchased by South African municipalities is lost to illegal connections and non-payment. This has led to a R51-billion debt by municipalities, adding to Eskom’s significant R400-billion debt burden and hampering the utility’s plans to build additional capacity or its transition to renewable energy. 

In East Africa, Kenya Power has investigated cases of fraud in its post-paid billing system, citing billions in lost revenue

This issue is prevalent in the utilities sector of other regions too. A 2017 study estimated that electricity theft and non-technical losses cost the global utilities sector $96-billion per year. This places enormous pressure on utilities and hampers efforts to improve service delivery to customers, adopt new, more sustainable forms of energy, and scale into new markets.

Revenue assurance mitigates fraud, reduces losses

In the utilities sector, several factors contribute to lost revenue, including faulty metering, inaccurate billing, ineffective revenue collection, consumption-based fraud, leaks, and issues with incorrect customer accounts and contracts. 

As the sector shifts to meet the utility needs of a growing population – Africa’s population is expected to nearly double to almost 2.5 billion people by 2050 – and pressure grows to move to more sustainable, less carbon-intensive forms of energy, maintaining high levels of revenue collection will be critical.

A vital component of optimal revenue collection is the practice of revenue assurance. 

Revenue assurance is a way of increasing an organisation’s income by identifying areas where revenue is lost, and minimising such losses by fixing the cause of lost revenue.

One global study found that it takes an organisation twelve months to detect a typical fraud case, with the average annual loss across industries amounting to $1.8-million. In fact, an estimated 5% of revenue is lost to fraud every year.

In response, organisations need to leverage the power of technology to improve fraud detection, risk mitigation and fraud prevention capabilities. 

Using a revenue assurance tool is one way for utilities to detect anomalies earlier. This can help them reduce financial loss, improve the accuracy of detection at a lower cost, and improve their ability to predict and prevent future occurrences of revenue leakage.

Leveraging tech to improve revenue collection

A growing number of utilities are using tools such as SAP Business Integrity Screening in combination with SAP partner solutions to improve revenue assurance and plug any gaps in operations that may lead to revenue loss.

By leveraging powerful analytics and big data capabilities, revenue assurance tools help utilities identify potential cases of fraud and proactively inform technical teams to investigate.

For example, if a customer’s energy consumption stays exactly the same month after month despite seasonal changes, there is a likelihood that some form of fraud is being committed. Energy use usually increases and decreases in different seasons, with most customers using less power in summer when it’s warm compared to winter when heaters are used and electrical hot water heaters work harder to stay warm.

By tracking energy consumption patterns over long periods of time and matching that data to seasonal consumption models, utilities can leverage their revenue assurance tool to ensure they always collect the optimal revenue from every customer. 

By using predictive models and integrating the revenue assurance functionality to their enterprise resource planning core, utilities can develop a better understanding of known customer usage patterns. Over time, utilities can apply this knowledge to develop detection methods and strategies that can highlight unknown patterns that may indicate fraud or revenue leakage. 

African utilities are at a pivotal moment as booming population growth and rapid economic development pushes them into building greater capacity while also transitioning to a clean energy future. However, without optimal revenue collection, utilities will lack the financial agility to survive and thrive during this disruptive time.

With the clever application of technology, however, utilities can mitigate the risk of fraud and ensure they have the financial stability to take a leading role in our continent’s development and just energy transition.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

About SAP 

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.   

Note to editors: 

To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV. 

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:  

Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24 

For more information, press only: 

Delia Sieff, SAP Africa, +27 (11) 235 6000, delia.sieff@sap.com  

SAP Press Roompress@sap.com 

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Conférence de Presse en Ligne

Les frontières terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles à la dissémination de votre message. Grâce à notre service de conférence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunité de vous rapprocher des médias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.

Nos services comprennent:

Digital Communications

Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.


Communication​ digitale

Les réseaux sociaux représentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’œil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualité de votre contenu pour l’inciter à aller plus loin. Nous créons pour vous une stratégie de communication précise et adaptée sur les réseaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et améliorer la réputation de votre marque en interne et en externe.

Promotion​ d’événements

Le succès d’un événement réside en moitié dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beauté de l’événement, la qualité des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre événement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons à façonner votre récit et à créer un engouement autour de votre événement. De l’annonce de l’événement à la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflétons sur toutes les plateformes médiatiques.​

Formation​ Médiatique

Nous fournissons à vos porte-paroles les outils nécessaires pour présenter vos principaux messages et répondre avec confiance et cohérence aux questions. Notre formation est organisée soit à distance ou en présentiel, avec des études de cas réels et des répétitions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’être à l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.

Veille​ Médiatique

Nous mesurons votre portée en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activités de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majorité des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille médiatique complète et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune référence à votre marque, que vous êtes constamment informé de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous êtes prêt à saisir les opportunités et à réduire les risques en temps opportun.

Relations​ Média

Peu importe le lieu où ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui écrivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crédible qui les aide dans leurs tâches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les médias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu

Nous créons des stratégies de communication intelligentes, bien documentées et spécialisées destinées à vous aider à construire un récit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rédiger des communiqués de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le récit de votre entreprise. Notre équipe a une expérience approfondie dans la création de récits et le développement de contenu multimédia.


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiqués de presse auprès des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprès des journalistes américains et européens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchés émergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​

Event Promotion

Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training

We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring

We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations

We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development

We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.


This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available