The Federal Government has assured electricity consumers with pre-paid meters that purchased units will not be lost due to the ongoing process of meter upgrade by electricity distribution companies.
The Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, & Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Engr. Aliyu Tukur Tahir, explained in a statement yesterday that the issue of Standard Transfer Specification, STS, prepaid meters upgrading by means of Token Identifier, TID rollover would not lead to loss of units.
Engr. Tahir assured consumers of the readiness of NEMSA to ensure that all electricity meters and instruments deployed in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) are of the right standard, specification, safety and quality to accurately measure and record electrical energy consumed and guarantee safety of lives and property.
In the statement issued by Head Communication & Protocol Unit, Ama Umoren, the NEMSA Chief Executive advised electricity consumers not to fear, stressing that the Token Identifier is a 24-bit field, contained in STS compliant tokens, that identifies the date and time of the token generation.
He explained that STS is used to determine if a token has already been used in a prepaid meter.
“The TID represents the number of minutes elapsed since the base date of 1st January 1993. The incrementing of the 24-bit field means that at some point in time, the TID value will roll over to a zero value”, he stated.
He stressed that in order to overcome the TID rollover occurrence, all meters will require key change tokens with the roll over bit set which will be provided by the Utility Companies when the key change tokens are imputed, that process will force the meters to reset the TID stack memory to 0 and change the meter key at the same time.
According to him, “This process will not make energy meters fast or slower, hence, there is no need for panic and that the TID rollover will NOT alter or change the metrological properties of electricity meters that have been certified by NEMSA, to accurately measure and record electrical energy consumed.
“Meter manufacturers will be required to change their production processes in order to cater for the new manufacturing hardware secure modules and key load files.
“They are also required to start manufacturing meters on the 2014 base date as will be specified by their customers when they have updated their vending systems.
“Also, that the Distribution Companies will provide their prepaid meter customers Key Change Tokens alongside their regular energy tokens when purchasing electricity”, he said.
Engr. Tahir further stated that the prepaid meter end-users will be involved in the final piece of the puzzle -the TID rollover key change process. This process he said involves a special pair of tokens called a key change token that would be entered into the prepaid meter to finalize the update of the prepaid meter software.
“Customers must upgrade their prepaid meters by sequentially entering the two KCT tokens (KCT1 & KCT2) and then the energy token, as to be provided by the DisCos. Customers must ensure that any unused or previously purchased energy tokens are loaded into their meters before the expiry date”.