Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has warned consumers to top up all their tokens before the upgrade process, this publication has learnt.
The power utility company has since made it clear that they will not be liable for any old tokens that would not be recharged or used before the upgrade process.
Speaking to this publication, an engineer representing Zesa explained how the upgrade process is going to be implemented so that the portable meters continue accepting tokens.
“Your prepaid meter will require an upgrade for them to continue accepting tokens; therefore all customers will be required to upgrade their prepaid meters. However, consumers must make sure they used all old tokens before instigating the upgrade process otherwise Zesa will not be liable for any old token that will be then rejected by the system,” said the engineer.
The news of upgrades brought concern 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, the engineer squashed all the fears and made it known that the upgrade process would 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 upgrades to enable their meters to continue accepting tokens. 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 engineer.
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.
According to the engineer, upgrading pre-paid meters enhances efficiency and reduces electricity transmission and distribution losses.