Exactly a decade after the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) introduced prepaid meters, the power utility company has since announced that all the gadgets will need to be upgraded for them to continue accepting tokens.
In a statement, the power utility supplier said, “Your prepaid meter will require an upgrade for them to continue accepting tokens, therefore all customers will be required to upgrade their prepaid meters.
The news of upgrades brought panic in most consumers who were not sure whether they would be asked to buy new prepaid meters or continue using the old ones in this harsh economic environment.
However, this publication caught up with an expert from the company who took the time to explain the upgrade process which he said will not require consumers to buy new gadgets.
“The power utility is doing the upgrades as part of the compliance required by the STS system. All utilities using the prepaid STS system have to do the upgrades by 24 November 2024 to enable their meters to continue accepting tokens beyond that date. This is not unique to Zimbabwe only but to all utilities the world over with meters that use the STS system. South Africa’s Eskom and Zambia’s ZESCO have also started the exercise,” said the expert
He assured consumers that they would be able to do the upgrades in the comfort of their homes by simply entering a set of key change tokens that are going to be supplied by the utility when the customer purchases tokens.
“We are going to be activating the key change tokens area by area and shall be advising the clients area by area.
“When customers buy electricity, they will get three sets of 20-digit tokens which they are supposed to enter into the meter one after the other in the order they are provided and in the same manner they top up electricity.
“The exercise is free of charge, and customers are not required to pay anything for this upgrade.
“Meters that do not comply with this system are going to be changed at the utility’s cost, and customers are not required to pay for the meter change,” he said.