revenue collection
To put an end to complaints by metered power consumers, UNBS has announced it intends to retest all electricity meters currently in use.

In addition to this, the the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), will test new electricity meters before the power distribution companies install them.

The Monitor reported that UNBS will be driving this initiative to establish if the meters are of the required standard for measuring electricity.

It is not clear when UNBS will start the testing and when the exercise will end.

However, the Monitor highlighted the UNBS‘ fee for testing prepaid meters, which will be incurred by the electricity distributor Umeme.

The charging fees are follows:

  • Shs5, 000 ($1.37)is for the starting test
  • Shs5, 000 creeping test
  • Shs5, 000 high voltage testing fee
  • Shs30, 000 ($8.249) accuracy fee
  • Shs10, 000 ($2.749) laboratory fee

It is reported that Umeme has since then written to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to consider the resultant costs. Read more…

“Umeme has written to [the] Electricity Regulatory Authority ERA to consider the corresponding costs to execute the meter testing within the tariff computation as operational costs for installed meters and capital costs…,” Umeme said through its Tariff Review Application for 2018.

Testing of electricity meters

The tariff for distributing power is composed of operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, energy losses, uncollected electricity payments and investment-related costs.

Testing of the meters would, going by the abovementioned formula, be under the O&M expenses.

“The debate now is who will meet the cost. Will it be the government or the consumer [through the retail tariff]?” ERA’s manager consumer and public affairs, John Julius Wandera, said.

“UNBS came up with regulations for meter testing and the regulator is interested in upholding those regulations,” Wandera added.

ERA is going through different power utilities tariff review applications for 2018.

Additionally, it will through a public hearing next month seek for publics’ views on the utilities proposals, including the suggestion of factoring in the meter testing in the retail tariff.


Featured image: Stock