A Comprehensive Review You Should Know About Prepaid Meter

It is becoming convenient and risk-free to have prepaid electricity in one’s home than continuing with normal billed electricity where a reading official from the electricity company will come to read the meter and dubious people sometimes capitalize on this to invade people’s home to commit crime and fraud. 

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This is why the prepaid meter is most welcomed and it has come to stay. Prepaid meters have more benefits than the post meter, especially because there will be no billing inaccuracies and one can budget better with prepaid meter. There is the need for you to know more details about the prepaid-meters, this comprehensive guide has been put together to enlighten you more about a prepaid meter and all it entails.

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What is a Prepaid Meter?

Prepaid Meters
Image Showing Prepaid Meters

A prepaid meter is an electricity meter that only provides the subscriber with power only when payment has been made. This payment can be done in the form of credit purchased prior to use and meter token. Prepaid meter is always budget-friendly because one will buy and use up only the power that was installed already in the meter. No need for dubious reading or paying for a light bill that one didn’t use.

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Steps to Prepaid Meter Registration

These are the steps you can take to apply or register for a prepaid meter in Nigeria

  • Go to any electric distribution company nearest to you, and get the form that would be issued to you by the electric sales department or representative.
  • Next, fill the form with valid and correct information on it.
  • Submit back the form and get your meter installed within the range of 45 days at your residence
  • After installation, the next important thing is to visit the electric business unit for vending and reconciliation of the account.
  • As a subscriber, you will be expected to separate the load or lines before the meter is installed
  • Registration and installation of the prepaid meter is free.

How to Recharge Prepaid Meter

  • Get your meter token from any electricity distribution company or vendor, this is to enable you to load the prepaid meters.
  • With the token, go to the location where the prepaid meter is been installed
  • Insert the meter smart card after opening the card door of your unit on your meter
  • Then enter the PIN code that is on your token.
  • The prepaid meter is recharged for immediate use.

How Does a Prepaid Electricity Meter Work?

Prepaid meters do count the flow of electricity used in KWH, when a subscriber requests to recharge a prepaid meter, the request is sent to the municipality’s vending system. The vending system will then checks the tariff applicable to the meter and then the Naira amount will be converted into the required number of units.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Prepaid Electricity Meter?

The prepaid meter in Nigeria under the mapping scheme in line with NERC’s approved rates, a single-phase meter cost 38,841.08NGN to N45,000 ( inclusive of VAT) while a 3 phase meter cost 70.408.65NGN to N85, 000 (Inclusive of VAT).

Is a Prepaid Meter More Expensive?

Prepaid meter is somewhat expensive because first, customers with billed meters will pay a large amount for initial installation cost to get electricity. So because of these additional amounts, the charge per unit for these customers is lower compare to prepaid meter users as they don’t pay for this installation, so they only pay for energy albeit at a somewhat higher rate. And again, the cheapest energy tariffs provided by suppliers are often not available to prepaid subscribers.

What Are the Benefits of Using Prepaid Meters?

  • With prepaid meter one is able to save electricity; you can turn off your prepaid meter when not in use.
  • Prepaid meter halt all kind of exaggerated and unsuspected electricity bill
  • Cash flow can be managed with prepaid meter
  • With prepaid meter one can allocate costs properly.
  • No worrying about build-up debt

Prepaid Meter Reset Code

To reset your prepaid meter, you use this code

Enter 990 follow by 8888 and 999 then you enter your recharge pin and you are done. ( i.e 990-8888-999 + recharge pin).

My Prepaid Meter is Not Displaying

If your prepaid stops displaying, use the following guide to rectify it

  • Check first to be sure you have credit on your meter
  • There might be a power cut so look at your power cut information, then check with your neighbor before contacting your local distributor. But if you know it isn’t a power cut and there’s no light then get your meter serial number which is near the barcode on the meter and contact your electricity suppliers.

How to Activate Prepaid Meter

 Activating prepaid meter is simple you just have to do the following: marry your interface unit with your meter number.

For 5258 meters, Insert 5258 plus the 5th digit to the 12th digit of your meter number (i.e. 525815007104) then press enter.

For 01011 meters, insert 1593570 plus meter number and press the blue button key

For 541 meters, insert 1593570 plus meter number like this 1593570541300175653 and press enter which is the blue button

To confirm acceptance, the feedback response on the meter will be accepted

How do I Check my Prepaid Balance?

If you don’t know your prepaid meter number, just press 65 and then press the blue button, you will see your meter 11 digit numbers displayed on the screen. Now to check your balance, simply press 07 on your keypad and then press the blue button which is enter, your available balance will be displayed in a format like this 144.66

List of Prepaid Meter Providers?

These are the companies in Nigeria that provides prepaid meter

  • Mojec international Lagos
  • Momas systems Nigeria Limited Lagos
  • Raise synergy solutions LTD
  • Central business district, Abuja FCT
  • Epaco holdings limited, Warri Delta state
  • Momas electricity meters manufacturers, Obafemi Owode, Ogun state

How Does Prepaid Meter Calculate Unit of Electricity?

Like most of the other prepaid power systems, prepaid meters calculates unit of electricity based in kilowatt per hour (KWH). Which as that time of writing this article is charged at about 13NGN per KWH? So to know the total number of units per your amount recharge multiply the amount by unit by the total units you want.

Additional payment also exists like value-added tax (VAT), fixed monthly charge of 500NGN. So mathematically, it can be calculated this way: amount-vat units +charge VAT +monthly tariff or charges =units.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Prepaid Meter?

The below points outline below are the pros and cons of using the prepaid meter.

The Pros of Using Prepaid Electricity Meters

No need for meter readers: Unlike postpaid electric billing where an official will come in monthly to read the bill and sometimes read inaccurately, this isn’t same for prepaid billing. You just recharge yourself and that’s all.

Prepaid meter billing is budget-friendly: With prepaid you only recharge with an amount you are convenient with, no over-bloated amount at the end of the day. You recharge and use the amount that you had recharged. No extra bills added over nothing.

No billing inaccuracies: This happens a lot with a postpaid billing system, where a reader can give a bill that doesn’t commensurate with what the users had previously used. The annoying thing is that they will still be forced to pay but with prepaid meter, this situation is halted because you only paid for what you need. This is to say there’s an always accurate bill, no more estimates

No issue of non-payment: Since prepaid meter works only after payment, one wouldn’t be having the issue of non-payment of the electric bill, like having your light cut off abruptly and getting embarrassed by electric company’s officials.

No need for disconnection and reconnection fees: This is tops for postpaid users, having a light cut from an electric company means extra fees to be paid before a reconnection but with prepaid, there’s no such, you just recharge and continue to enjoy your power supply.

There’s 24/7 service: With prepaid electricity, one can buy from vendors across the country and there’s 24 hours access. With just your token units can be added.

The Cons of Using Prepaid Electricity Meters

  • Prepaid-meters plans are more expensive than other types
  • You need to always top up your units or risk a disconnection
  • When once your credit runs out, you will be in darkness
  • You can top up more often than expected some months, especially during the cold season.

Conclusion

Prepaid meters is a useful tool for those that really want to manage their energy cost, as the name suggests you are expected to pay in advance for your power supply which is a lot better because you will buy for the money you have and forget about owing for power bill monthly.

One advantage you have will be not having piles of power energy bill to pay, because some officials bring the bills after months and expect one to pay immediately. So you will be in perfect control of how much and how often you top up your units.  This seems like the ideal choice for a lot of people but the choice is just to make after reading this guide.

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