The Federal Government, on Sunday, said the electricity meter upgrade process to be implemented by power distribution companies would not affect the credit units balance in the meters.
It disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, stressing that NEMSA would ensure that all electricity meters and instruments deployed in the sector were of the right standard.
“Let me assure all electricity customers that they have nothing to fear as the meter upgrade process will not affect the credit unit balance on their meters. The credit balance will remain intact after the upgrade.
“They are also to note that meter upgrade is a one-time process. Subsequent energy token purchases will continue as usual after the upgrade has been completed,” the Managing Director, NEMSA, Aliyu Tahir, stated in the statement.
Tahir disclosed this while reacting to the issue of Standard Transfer Specification for the upgrade of prepaid meters by means of Token Identifier rollover, which is set for commencement by the power distributors in Nigeria.
Last week, The PUNCH reported that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission advised prepaid meter users to upgrade their meters before November next year to avoid losing the meters.
Tahir explained that in order to overcome the TID rollover occurrence, all meters would require key change tokens with the rollover bit set, which would be provided by the Discos.
He said when the key change tokens are imputed, the process would force the meters to reset the TID stack memory to zero and change the meter key at the same time.
“This process will not make energy meters faster or slower, hence, there is no need for panic and that the TID rollover will not alter or change the metrological properties of electricity meters that have been certified by NEMSA, to accurately measure and record electrical energy consumed.
“Meter manufacturers will be required to change their production processes in order to cater for the new manufacturing hardware secure modules and key load files.
“They are also required to start manufacturing meters on the 2014 base date as will be specified by their customers when they have updated their vending systems.
“Also, the distribution companies will provide their prepaid meter customers Key Change Tokens alongside their regular energy tokens when purchasing electricity,” Tahir stated.
The NEMSA boss further stated that prepaid meter end-users would be involved in the final piece of the puzzle, which is the TID rollover key change process.
This process, he said, involves a special pair of tokens called a key change token that would be entered into the prepaid meter to finalise the update of the prepaid meter software.