As electricity customers using prepaid meters continue to face recharge restrictions due to the STS-TID rollover, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has warned Nigerians to update their prepaid meters, warning that from November 2024, they may not be able to recharge their prepaid meters.
This statement was obtained by EnergyDay on Tuesday via a tweet, in alignment with the plan by the majority of electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to phase out the global Token Identifier (TID) for the current meters currently in use across the country.
NERC in the statement urging customers using prepaid meters to update their facility said, “From November 2024, you may not be able to recharge your meter. However, updating is easy and free.
“DisCos shall commence issuance of 2 free Key Change Tokens (KCTs) which will update your meter. If you have a prepaid meter, it may be time for an update,” the regulator said.
According to the Commission, the update will not affect the units in your meter, nor will it make your meter run faster than usual.
It, therefore, stated that the update is easy and free, charging customers to reach out to their DisCo for more information.
REASON FOR THE UPDATE
EnergyDay in a statement obtained from the website of Conlog, manufacturer of the prepaid meters installed by Ikeja and Kaduna Electric companies, showed that most of the prepaid meters currently in use across the country needed to be upgraded before November 24, 2024, as they will cease to operate due to the global phase-out of current TID Identifier.
The TID is a 24-bit field contained in an STS-compliant token that identifies the date and time of the token generation.
According to Conlog, a South Africa-based prepaid meter manufacturer, the current meters’ TID Identifier has a reference base date of 1993, which would be replaced with a new base date of 2014.
Conlog in the statement revealed that customers must subscribe to the ‘TID Rollover Event” with the upgrade from TID Identifier 1993 and reset to the 2014 base date.
It said, “What is TID? Each credit token has a unique TID IDENTIFIER (TID) encoded into the 20 digits to prevent token replay at the meter. The technical remedy to delay in acceptance of new tokens is to “RESET” each meter to reference a new base date of 2014 by means of entering two special tokens before 24 November 2024.”
EnergyDay’s further findings showed that under the latest development, customers are expected to generate a Standard Transfer Specification (STS), a metering code.
This technology is known as a secure message system for carrying information between a point of sale (PoS) and a prepaid meter.
By using the Key Change Token (KCT) a set of two 20-digit numbers, which can be obtained from the DisCos offices or their POS agents when purchasing energy tokens for their meter, customers can upgrade their meters and ensure accurate measurement of their energy consumption.
According ro Hawkins-Dady, Research and Development Manager at Conlog(Pty) Ltd and Chairperson of the STS Association, in a chat with ESI Africa said that all STS prepaid meters will stop accepting token if they have not been key changed by November 24, 2024.
According to him, the Token Identifier forms a ket role in ensuring that STS tokens cannot be used in a meter more than once.
DISCOS ALREADY UPGRADING PREPAID METERS
Some of the DisCos that have requested their customers to upgrade their prepaid meters include Ikeja Electric, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Kano DisCo, Kaduna Electric, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company and Jos DisCo.
IBEDC in a recent broadcast asking customers to visit https://tidrollover.ibedc.com/kctupgrade/ , stated that the prepaid meter upgrade requires customers to sequentially enter two KCT tokens (KCT1 and KCT2) and then the energy token.
For Kano DisCo users are also asked to request key change tokens, visit http://customercare.kedco.ng and select “Key change token” under the complaint category.
It said, “Input your name, meter number, email address, phone number, and service address, then click “Send Issue” to submit your request. After a while, check your email inbox for the two 20-digit key change tokens, and input them in the right order on your meter. ”
Ikeja DisCo also asked its users to visit https://ie-payments.com/apps/tariff-migration-token/ and enter your meter number in the request box. Click “Submit” and two 20-digit key change tokens will be generated for your meter. Input the tokens on your meter to complete the process.
Jos Electricity Distribution Plc in a recent statement also confirmed that it has successfully upgraded its prepaid vending system to be more secure and compliant with Token Identifier (TID). It then asked customers with prepaid meters to upgrade their meters to ensure compatibility and load credit tokens
JED emphasized that the upgrade can be done for free online, and customers are advised not to pay for KCTs or Clear Tamper tokens as they are free.