A recent announcement from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has mandated all prepaid meter users to complete a mandatory update to ensure their metres remain functional by November 24, 2024.
The announcement which was made via NERC’s official Twitter handle on August 22 stated that failure to comply could result in an inability to recharge a user’s prepaid meter after the deadline. According to the commission, customers are expected to get in touch with their DisCo to get more information on the update.
The statement reads:
“If you have a prepaid meter, it may be time for an update. 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. The update will not affect the units in your meter nor will it make your meter run faster than usual. Contact your DisCo for more information.”
Why do you need to update your prepaid meter?
A major reason for the update stems from the specifications of the prepaid metres themselves. According to Conlog, one of the licensed meter asset providers, each credit token, the essential tool for recharging prepaid meters, contains a unique token identifier (TID) encoded within its 20 digits. This TID is anchored to a base date, originating in 1993, and is set to expire by November 2024.
Consequently, failure to update the meter’s base date through the prescribed method would render the metre obsolete.
The solution to this challenge is simple: reset each metre to reference a new base date. This process involves entering two special tokens before the November 24, 2024, deadline. According to the NERC, this update will not affect the existing units within the metre or alter their operational speed. The objective of this update is solely to ensure the continued functionality of prepaid metres, they said.
How to update your prepaid meter
The update process is hassle-free. NERC has assured users that the update will be provided at no cost, offering a seamless transition to the new system. To facilitate the process, distribution companies (DisCos) will issue two free Key Change Tokens (KCTs) to each user, which will serve as the vehicle for the necessary update.
Upon purchasing their usual energy tokens, they will receive a key change token alongside the energy tokens. This key change token, provided by their respective DisCos or their agents, will be used once to initiate the update process. Subsequent energy purchases will proceed as usual.
According to BuyPower, the following are simple steps meter owners can follow to update their prepaid meters.
- Visit the offices of your DisCos to get key change tokens.
- Purchase an electricity/energy token: When you do this, you will receive 3 tokens. The first 2 are the key change tokens and the 3rd (last) is your purchased electricity token.
- Enter the key change tokens: On your meter, enter the two KCTs (KCT1 & KCT2) one after the other, then the 3rd token, which is your electricity token.
- Your meter upgrade is now complete.
This 20-digit numerical code functions similarly to an electricity recharge token but serves a different purpose. While the recharge token tops up your metre with credit, the key change token reconfigures the metre to align with changes in tariff plans, key revision numbers, or supply groups. Once the key change token has been successfully applied, the metre will once again accept electricity recharge tokens without any issues.
More ease for Ikeja and Kano Disco users
If you find yourself among the prepaid metre users serviced by Kano Disco and Ikeja Electric, accessing your key change tokens online is a convenient option. The process has been streamlined for simplicity and accessibility. By following a few straightforward steps, users can ensure their metres remain in compliance with the NERC mandate.
For Kano DisCo users;
- Visit http://customercare.kedco.ng to load KEDCO’s customer care portal.
- Select your complaint category – ‘Key change token’
- Put in your name, meter number, e-mail address, phone number, and service address.
- Click ‘Send Issue’ to submit your request.
- After a while, check your email inbox for the two 20-digit key change tokens. It should be sent as ‘Key change 1’ and ‘Key change 2’
- Put in the key change tokens in the right order. Input key change 1 first then press ‘enter’. After it shows ‘Success’, input key change 2 and press ‘enter’.
For Ikeja DisCo users;
- Visit https://ie-payments.com/apps/tariff-migration-token/
- Enter your meter number in the request box.
- Click on ‘Submit’
- Two 20-digit Key Change Tokens will be generated just for your meter.
- Input the key change tokens on your meter and you should be good to go.
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