Why Kenya Power must update its’ 7 million prepaid meters by November 2024

Kenya currently utilizes the Standard Transfer Specification (STS) compliant electricity prepaid meters owing to the security features of token identification to ensure security of generated tokens for revenue protection.

The STS technology is the global standard for the transfer of electricity and other utility prepayment tokens. It entails a secure message system for carrying information between a point-of-sale and a meter, while ensuring inter-operability between system components from different manufacturers. Following improvements in technology, the STS Association has upgraded the security protocols of the STS system.

It is therefore a mandatory requirement for all users of STS based systems worldwide to comply with these standards and specifications before November 2024 for the following reasons:

1.The current STS security level of the Secure Module must be upgraded in compliance with STS600-4-2 as approved by the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

2.The Token Identifier (TID) will run out of range on 24 November 2024, which requires that each prepaid meter must be upgraded through special TID key Change Tokens before that date for the meter to accept new tokens.

Across the world, utilities such as Kenya Power that use STS compliant prepaid meters are therefore required to update the existing meters for them to continue accepting vended tokens.

Kenya Power currently has a customer base of over 9.5 Million customers with 6.7 Million customers metered through prepaid meters that must comply with this new development.

For the meters to continue accepting vended tokens after November 2024, the meters must have their key changed to a new base date of 2014 using a Token Identifier (TID) process.

Noteworthy, all prepaid meters based on the STS technology not updated will stop accepting electricity tokens from 24th November 2024, globally.

The technical remedy is to, therefore, update each of our 6.7 million prepaid meters to reference a new base date of 2014 by means of entering two (2) special tokens before November 2024.

For this reason, KPLC commenced preparations to implement the TID Rollover campaign companywide.

This entails ensuring that our IT systems are robust and ready for the TID rollover campaign, and developing a consumer awareness media campaign with the tagline ‘Update Token Meter Yako’ that will be carried out from June this year.

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