The clock is ticking for pre-paid meter users: here’s why

25 March 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202018523

Electrical & Electronics
Government & Municipal
Instrumentation, Measurement & Control

BETWEEN seven and eight million prepaid electricity meters in South Africa need to be reset before November 2024 as the mechanism used to manage, control and prevent credit token reuse, will run out of numbers at this time and all existing meters will stop accepting credit tokens.

That’s the warning from Lance Hawkins-Dady, Research and Development Manager at the leading metering company Conlog and Chairperson of the Standard Transfer Specification Association (STSA), the South African metering standards industry body.

“Utilities have very little time left, there is a lot of planning that goes into ensuring a TID Rollover programme is successfully executed and the date of 24/11/2024 is fast approaching,” he said.

The clock is ticking for pre-paid meter users: here’s why

The Association has embarked on an awareness programme to inform utilities about the “TID Rollover programme” before the deadline of 24 November 2024.

“Currently all tokens contain a Token Identifier (TID) that is calculated on a base date of 1993. The TID is used to uniquely identify each token so that tokens cannot be used more than once. The TID will reach its maximum value in 2024. When this event happens, all tokens will be considered as old and will no longer be accepted by the prepaid meters.”

Hawkins-Dady said the only way to prevent tokens being rejected after 24 November is for end users of the STS technology to have successfully completed the TID Rollover programme.

“A lot of work needs to be done and the time to get this done is decreasing every day. I encourage all utilities that have not yet started their TID Rollover programme or who are unsure of how to begin, to contact Conlog for assistance.

“As a founder member of the STS Association and a key player in the development of the STS specification, we are ideally positioned, with our knowledge and knowhow, to assist utilities in successfully planning and executing a TID Rollover strategy.”

It is estimated that there about seven million meters currently in South Africa alone and this is expected to reach eight million by 2024.

“it is difficult to predict how many meters are installed globally however we estimate this figure to be anywhere between 60 to 70 million. As more electricity meters are rolled out and with both gas and water utilities adopting the STS specification, the number of STS prepayment meters will increase rapidly.”

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