THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has started upgrading the pre-paid metres system for its customers nationwide to enable them to recharge electricity tokens without any hassles.
The exercise will see all meters that were rolled out in 1993 having their system called Token Identifier(TID) being upgraded to meet the needs of the new system.
In a statement, ZETDC said TID is a system used by a prepaid meter to determine if a token has already been used.
“In November 2024, the memory on this system will lapse and prepayment meters will not be able to accept recharge tokens,” reads the statement.
“TID roll-over in simple terms, is upgrading the prepaid meters so that they will continue to accept prepaid tokens after 24 November 2024.
“Customers will get three sets of 20-digit tokens upon purchasing their ordinary electricity tokens, that is two sets of 20-digit key change tokens and one set of 20-digit credit tokens.
“These are to be entered in the meter in the order in which they are provided and all vending platforms will produce Key change tokens upon purchasing recharge tokens.
“Meter upgrade will only be done once per prepaid meter and customers are not required to pay anything for this exercise.”
ZETDC said in case a client’s meter was not compliant, the company would replace the meter at no cost.
In October last year, ZETDC acting managing director Mr Abel Gurupira said the upgrade would improve efficiency and use of electricity.
“It is ideally a situation where I would say the smart meters that we have involve a system that is within the institution and there is a meter which is at the client’s premises,” he said.
“The system is responsible for generating tokens when one makes a purchase or buys power they are given a token which they then key into the meter and that meter should be able to identify and decrypt that unique token. “This system was developed in 1993 and South Africa was involved. Many other utilities came on board so 1993 is the base year where the generation of these tokens began.
“We are coming to a time when the 30 years that were incorporated in this system is expiring and we are saying once we get to the 30 years, the meters will then not be able to identify the token that has been generated by our system and therefore will reject it.
“We are coming to a time where we have to reset giving the meter a new lease of life where the algorithms that are within the organisation’s system and those that are within the meter should be able to speak to each other.”
Mr Gurupira said the system at ZETDC and the meter at a consumer’s premises should be able to communicate for a meter to recharge electricity.
SOURCE : ZIM SITUATION