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Umeme to pilot prepaid meters

Paul Mare

Paul Mare, Umeme
general manager

13 February 2008 – Uganda’s power distributor, Umeme, is to carry out pilot projects on prepaid meters, says general manager, Paul Mare, with a view to replacing all post paid meters.

"This is a move we had put on hold for sometime because of the huge costs. We are ready to embark on a pilot project where we will install several pre-paid meters and measure the cost benefit to us as a company and to the consumers," he said at a press conference recently.

He also announced the installation of a new billing system, the contract for which has been granted to an Israeli company. The installation will cost in the region of US$8 million and will be complete in approximately January 2009.

"We have 4,000 accounts which, due to system faults in the old billing system, could not be billed. A system amendment had to be implemented to resolve this issue," he said.

Umeme has 270 000 customers, but a large percentage of those receive estimated, or exaggerated, bills.