Eskom will soon kick off their national initiative to upgrade prepaid meter software by changing meter coding as per the international TID rollover facing all prepaid customers globally. The current meter software will expire in the year 2024.
The first phase of the project will start in Gauteng on 1 September. Upgrading the meter software is not just an Eskom initiative, but will roll out to all prepaid Eskom and municipal customers.
Current prepaid meter software will expire in 2024, and any meter that has not been re-coded by 24 November 2024 will not upload prepaid tokens. This will leave customers without an electricity supply.
The globally adopted Standard Transfer Specification (STS) is for prepayment metering protects against the reuse of STS tokens using a unique Token Identifier (TID). The STS was created in South Africa in 1993 as an industry standard to support Eskom’s mission at the time of “electricity for all”. Eskom set out to connect 10 million households to the electricity supply grid by using prepayment metering technology.
The TID is a 240-bit field, embedded in STS compliant tokens, that identifies the date and time of the token generation and represents the minutes elapsed since 1 January 1993.
As with any data type, there is a point when the maximum value is reached. Thus, on 24 November 2024, the TID value will roll back to zero and any tokens generated after this date will be rejected by a meter as being an old token. All STS compliant meters are affected by this TID rollover and it is therefore imperative that all users of the technology implement a TID rollover programme.
TID rollover in South Africa
The first phase of the TID rollover will start in Riverside View, Fourways in Gauteng. The change will be implemented at no cost to customers, who will be furnished with details about the project through various communication and community platforms. Eskom will start an education programme on meter coding during the project rollout, to assist customers who may experience challenges with their meters.
Eskom technicians and contractors will conduct the project on a door-to-door basis. The power utility assured in a press statement that it will ensure its technicians and contractors will strictly follow COVID-19 regulations and apply the required preventative measures whenever they visit any home.
The power utility requests customers to be vigilant and only allow technicians and contractors who carry authentic identification, into their homes. No customer will be requested to make any payment before or after the meter coding change.