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Kenya Power MD explains fate of idle prepaid meters post-upgrade deadline

Kenya Power urges all affected customers to take immediate action and complete the necessary updates well before the August 31 deadline.

A prepaid token meter

As the August 31, 2024 deadline for Kenya Power pre-paid meters upgrade approaches, Kenya Power Managing Director Eng. Joseph Siror has issued a crucial update regarding the fate of idle meters.

This update is part of a broader effort to ensure that all meters comply with the Standard Transfer Specification (STS), a global protocol for transferring tokens to prepaid meters.

Failure to upgrade these meters by the set deadline will result in them no longer accepting tokens, potentially causing significant inconvenience for millions of users.

Siror highlighted the importance of this upgrade for all prepaid meter users. "Our intention is to reach out to all the landlords to ensure they are updated, but in the event that they are idle at the point when they will need to use them, they will be required to update them.

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"The same codes will still be available for them to do so. The only issue will be if you would not have updated the prepaid meters by November, you will not be able to load the tokens," he explained.

Kenya Power currently manages a total of 9.6 million meters, of which 7.4 million are prepaid and will be directly impacted by this update. The remaining 2.2 million postpaid users will not be affected.

This extensive update stems from a critical need to address the limitations of the current system, which dates back to 31 years ago.

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"The system that is currently being used is based on January 1, 1993. There is a 24-digit code stored within the token that is always sent to the customers, which stores the number of minutes from January 1, 1993.

"The number of those minutes come November this year would have reached the maximum. The moment it moves to the next minute, it would appear it has gone back to January 1, 1993, and the meters would reject that," Siror elaborated the technical aspect.

This critical upgrade is necessary to prevent disruptions and ensure the seamless operation of prepaid meters.

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Siror reassured customers that efforts are being made to facilitate this transition smoothly.

Failure to comply could lead to significant disruptions in power access, affecting daily activities and operations.

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