Umeme Limited, the major electricity distributor, has commenced the upgrade of all prepaid electricity vending/metering systems, a project aimed at meeting the global metering standards and deadline of November 2024. Last week the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development announced that the current Yaka meters would stop dispensing electricity in November unless upgraded to be compatible with the new vending system.
“This will improve the customer vending experience, and enhance system security and electricity token recognition,” said Umeme. The rollout strategy is being implemented by Umeme staff and where possible, customer self-service. The company says the project will be implemented on an area or district-based approach to minimize service interruptions and that customers shall be informed in time.
“Customers scheduled for the upgrade will receive by SMS, 3 tokens that they should key in the Yaka meter in the order they are received. An upgrade confirmation message shall be displayed once the Token loading is successful.”
Umeme assures that the upgrade project will be completed on time and that it will be a seamless experience. This upgrade aligns with the global transition to the Standard Transfer Specification (STS)2 Token Identifier (TID) standards for prepayment electricity vending and metering systems.
The Standard Transfer Specification is the global standard for the transfer of electricity and other utility prepayment tokens, ensuring interoperability between system components from different manufacturers. The initiative also promises better efficiency and security of prepayment systems, ensuring that the customers have access to reliable and modern services.
“It will improve the vending experience of customers and enhance the security of Yaka tokens during and after purchase.” The Token Identifier (TID) is a 24-bit field, contained in the compliant tokens, that identifies the date and time of the token generation, in the current system, since 1993. It is used to determine if a token has already been used in a payment meter.
The TID represents the number of minutes elapsed since the base date of 1st January 1993. “The incrementing of the 24-bit field means that at some point in time, the TID value will roll over to a zero value,” according to the STS Association.