The Ministry of Energy, Ruth Nankakbirwa has set a deadline for the phase-out of outdated Yaka payment meters.
Uganda like other countries in the region decided to switch its prepaid electric metering system to the latest technology known as Standard Transfer Specification.
That standard of metering is being recognized at the global level because, with it, a consumer can use it to switch electricity payments from one utility provider to another.
The government recently mooted a plan to have electricity tokens by different operators other than the current Yaka system offered by Umeme Uganda Limited.
Ruth Nankabirwa told Journalists at the Uganda Media Centre that prepaid electricity users will have to migrate to the new technology by October 2024.
The new meters will mean a change from the existing Token Identifiers (TID). In South Africa, the operators announced that token Identifiers will run out in November 2024.
Nankabirwa said the Ministry has set a target to have all Uganda’s electricity consumers’ prepaid meters (Yaka) migrated onto the new Token Identification System, known as the (TID Rollover) by October 2024 to be able to continue purchasing units for their power supply.
In his end-of-year address, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni reiterated that the government has prioritized lowering electricity costs to make Uganda’s products competitive in the domestic and export markets.
According to the President, reduced end-user electricity tariffs as outlined in the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM government manifesto 2021 – 2026 are key for Uganda’s industrialization, and social and economic transformation.
The President directed the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development to reduce the cost of power, particularly for manufacturers to 5 cents of the dollar or 185 Shillings per unit from the then 8.7 cents of dollar or 321 Shillings per unit.
The President also directed that the manufacturing sector should be supported to buy electricity directly from government power plants since the power of Kiira and Nalubaale is at 1.1 cents per US$ per unit; Isimba is at 4.16 cents US$ per unit, and Karuma will be at 4.97 cents US$ per unit upon completion.
Dr. Sarah Kanaabi Wasagali, the Chairperson of – the Electricity Regulatory Authority – ERA said between September and November 2023, the Authority reviewed the annual Tariff following the applications from the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited-UEGCL; Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited – UETCL; Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited – UEDCL; and Umeme Limited culminating in the resultant end-user electricity tariffs.
The Energy Policy for Uganda 2023 aims to achieve the Electricity generation capacity target of 52,481MW by 2040 with a grid access rate of 80%