Umeme Limited, the primary electricity distributor in Uganda, has initiated the process of upgrading all prepaid electricity vending and metering systems, with the aim of meeting global metering standards before the November 2024 deadline. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development recently announced that the current Yaka meters would cease dispensing electricity in November unless upgraded to be compatible with the new vending system.
The upgrade project seeks to enhance customer vending experiences, improve system security, and ensure proper recognition of electricity tokens. Umeme has outlined a rollout strategy conducted by its staff and, where possible, through customer self-service. The project will be implemented on an area or district-based approach to minimize service interruptions, and customers will receive timely notifications.
Umeme assures customers that the upgrade process will be seamless, with those scheduled for the upgrade receiving three tokens via SMS, which they should input into the Yaka meter in the specified order. Upon successful token loading, an upgrade confirmation message will be displayed.
Aligned with the global transition to the Standard Transfer Specification (STS)2 Token Identifier (TID) standards for prepayment electricity vending and metering systems, this upgrade aims to improve efficiency and security. STS is the global standard for transferring prepayment tokens, ensuring interoperability between system components from various manufacturers. The initiative promises a more reliable and modern service for customers.
The Token Identifier (TID) is a crucial component of this upgrade, represented by a 24-bit field in compliant tokens, identifying the date and time of token generation since 1993. It is used to determine if a token has been used in a payment meter. The incrementing of the 24-bit field means that the TID value will eventually roll over to zero, according to the STS Association.
Umeme emphasizes that this upgrade aligns with global standards, enhancing both customer experience and the security of Yaka tokens throughout the purchasing and usage process.