Industry

UNBS embarks on verification of pre-paid electricity meters

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

KAMPALA, Uganda–Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) in partnership with power distributor Umeme and regulator the Electricity Regulatory Authority have embarked on prepaid power meters verification exercise to ascertain the accuracy of meters.

The verification exercise aims at protecting power consumers and also the power distributor from making losses through fault meters.

According to Edward Ekuru a legal metrologist at UNBS told Journalists that UNBS has been receiving complaints from the public concerning faults among some prepaid meters.

“In our meter verification exercise, we are aiming at protecting the consumer and the utility company so as to promote fair trade. As UNBS, we are acting as the arbitrators; we want to check the meters to see that both parties are not cheating each other. So the exercise is about verification of meters that have served in the field for long time to see if they still retain the accuracy in unit reading, “   He explained.

Ekuru noted that when meters over serve in the field, they develop technical faults which may end up either benefiting the consumers or the power distributor which brings in unfairness in business and will cost the consumers and or, the utility company.

Under this verification Exercise, UNBS and Umeme are targeting to verify at least 10000 meters country wide but starting with Kampala city which has the biggest number of customers already connected on the prepaid system.

“We have stated with kampala because of the large population but the exercise will cover the whole country and those meters found with technical  faultiness will be retained because they are not fit for the purpose they are supposed do so” He said.

Uganda National Bureau of Standards is mandated by the Law to verify the Accuracies of prepaid power meters after five years. According to UNBS Head of Public Relation Godwin Bonge Muhwezi told Journalist that UNBS will be carrying out verification on all meters Imported into the country to ensure that customers are not cheated.

Recently while addressing the media at the Uganda Media Center the UNBS Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ben Manyindo   said between July and December 2017, UNBS says it verified 6,500 electricity meters. And about 6,000 failed verification such scenario if it’s not collected it greatly affects the consumer.