The Rwandan energy company Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL) has stated that the long overdue upgrade of the pre-paid cash power meter system has been slated for this month.
Managing director at EUCL Eng Jean Claude Kalisa told the media that the upgrade of the electricity payment system will take effect on 16 August 2016.
The exercise, which will go on for a period of two weeks, is meant to assist in improving efficiency and customer service. The project is anticipated to cost approximately $80, 000.
Kalisa said: “Clients are advised to make [their] purchase between 8:00am and 9:00pm as [during] the rest of the hours it will not be possible [to do so] due to [the] system upgrade.”
Electricity payment system upgrade delayed
ESI Africa had previously reported that the upgrade of the system had been scheduled for May 2016, however the date was postponed until further notice to enable EUCL to provide details about the upgrade and how it will affect electricity purchasing.
Since the announcement was publicised three months ago the power utility states that there has been a surge in demand for electricity purchase, which has overwhelmed the firm’s systems.
Kalisa told the media that the upgrade was a proactive measure to ensure that their database was relevant.
“In the long-run, we envision a system which bears information on the location of our clients, the contacts, their consumption and category.
“All these will enable us [to] communicate with them individually to warn them of interruptions as well as receive feedback on the issues,” he said.
It was reported that the system is also expected to ease the classification of customers such as industries, institutions and ordinary customers, locating them through the geographic information system.
Faulty meter devices
According to local media The New Times a number of the power utility’s clients have complained about EUCL’s electricity meter devices being faulty.
Commenting on the issue, Wilson Karegeya, the firm’s director for commercial services, said they are unaware of such meters currently installed in clients’ homes.
However, Karegeya admitted that meters, being machines, were prone to technical faults, which could affect their functioning.