The Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL) is set to upgrade its pre-paid cash power meter system beginning on August 16, to help improve efficiency and customer service.
The two-week exercise will see the utility company upgrade its back-end system with the aim of having a reliable and modern database.
Eng. Jean-Claude Kalisa, the managing director of EUCL, told journalists yesterday that during the upgrade period electricity purchases will only be available between 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
“Clients are advised to make purchase between 8:00am and 9:00pm as the rest of the hours it will not be possible due to system upgrade,” he said.
The exercise had initially been slated for May this year but was put off largely due to miscommunication that led clients to assume that purchases would not be possible during the upgrade period.
According to the utility’s management, the miscommunication saw a surge in demand for electricity purchase overwhelming the firm’s systems.
Kalisa said that the upgrade was a proactive measure to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in addressing customers’ needs and in ensuring that their database was relevant.
This, he said, was part of a greater plan to develop and operationalise a geographic information system which would contain clients details improving service delivery.
“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 communicate with them individually to warn them of interruptions as well as receive feedback on the issues,” said Kalisa.
According to Kalisa, the entire upgrade is expected to cost about $80, 000.
The system upgrade comes at a time when a number of the firm’s clients say they had not spent a penny on the utility for months and yet had uninterrupted supply.
Most of the clients who spoke to The New Times on condition of anonymity said that they have not tampered with the meters and suspect that the devices are faulty.
The situation is not isolated in one area with clients from across the city highlighting the fault.
Commenting on the issue in a recent interview, Wilson Karegeya, the firm’s director for commercial services, said they were unaware of such meters currently installed in clients’ homes.
He, however, said that meters being machines were prone to technical faults which could affect their functioning.
Clients with such meters were advised to contact a nearby utility office for technical support who would conduct repairs and or replacements with no repercussions.