South Africa: The Clock is Ticking for Pre-Paid Meter Users: Here’s Why

“The date 24/11/2024 is approaching fast, utilities have very little time left”

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.

“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.” This is according to Lance Hawkins-Dady, Research and Development Manager at the leading metering company Conlog (Pty) Ltd and Chairperson of the Standard Transfer Specification Association (STSA), the South African metering standards industry body. The Association has embarked on an awareness programme to inform utilities about the “TID Rollover programme” before the deadline of 24 November 2024.

Assisting utilities with rollover programme

He explains: “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. The only way to prevent tokens being rejected post 24/11/2024 is for end users of the STS technology to have successfully completed the TID Rollover programme.”

The Conlog R&D Manager adds: “there is a lot of work that 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 7-million meters currently in South Africa alone and this is expected to reach 8-million by 2024. Says Lance Hawkins-Dady: “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.”

Webinar on TID Rollover programme for utilities

Mr Hawkins-Dady will lead a specialist, live webinar on the leading power and energy journal ESI Africa’s portal on 12 March on the “Risks of the STS TID Rollover”.  Registration is free.

“We felt that it was imperative for us to bring an elevated awareness and understanding to all users of STS with regards to the impact of the TID rollover,” says Hawkins-Davy, “and by all users I am referring to utilities, municipalities and sub-vendors. For some, especially those with a large install base, the process may seem daunting, however I want to highlight that Conlog, a pioneer of the STS technology, has the expertise and experience to assist in planning, communicating and executing a successful TID rollover program. We have developed a framework that can be tailored to suit each utility’s specific needs and challenges and we encourage all utilities that are facing the enormity of this challenge, to reach out to us for support and guidance. We want to ensure that no customer is impacted by the TID Rollover in 2024. There are only four years left, so start now!”

The latest advances and challenges in the metering and smart energy industry, including the TID rollover, will also be discussed in the strategic conference of the 20th edition of the upcoming African Utility Weekand POWERGEN Africa in Cape Town from 12-14 May 2020. Conlog is a returning platinum sponsor at the event.

– To register for the TID Rollover webinar, click here.
– Read the full interview with Mr Hawkins-Dady here.

The 20th annual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals. The event brings together over 10 000 decision makers from over 90 countries, including 35 African countries, to source the latest solutions and meet over 350 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions, the event also boasts a CPD-accredited strategic conference and technical presentations with over 300 expert speakers.

African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa recently won the AAXO ROAR Award for Best Trade Exhibition in the 12000+ sqm category for the third time.

Author: GBA News Desk


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