Umeme wants law on prepaid metering
Posted Thursday, October 17 2013 at 12:35
National power distributor, Umeme Limited, has asked government to pass a law compelling power users to convert to the prepaid billing system, Yaka.
Yaka requires consumers to pay for electricity before using it.
Umeme Head of Communications, Henry Rugamba, tells Uganda Radio Network that the current set-up, where consumers have the choice of accepting or rejecting Yaka, is “frustrating,” and that it does not make economic sense to use two different billing systems in the same area.
Mr Rugamba says the cost of distribution affects the final tariff, and that if customers cooperated with the company’s efforts to cut costs, they would benefit through a lower tariff.
Yaka cuts distribution costs, Mr Rugamba says.
However, Umeme cannot force consumers to convert to Yaka since there is no law to compel them to do so which, according to Mr Rugamba, is disrupting the project rollout.
The protest against Yaka was set off by Kampala lawyer David Mpanga who pointed out that Umeme was breaking the law by forcing consumers to switch to the prepaid plan.
Mr Rugamba says Umeme has so far made 32,000 Yaka installations, 900 of which are in government offices. The scheme will be rolled out countrywide next year, and will target 100,000 by the end of 2014.
Umeme piloted the project in 2011 in the Kampala areas of Bugolobi, Mbuya, Port Bell, Luzira, Kiswa, Kinawataka, Mutungi, Kitintale, and surrounding areas.