Why does Umeme test/calibrate their-own meters?
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There are two issues here; calibration and testing. Calibration is the adjustment of meter parameters to ensure functional technical parameters are within specifications.
Umeme does not calibrate meters; these meters are only calibrated at the meter manufacturing factory and are designed to last for a specific period of time (i.e. 7 – 10 years) after which they need to be replaced.
Testing a meter is the inspection of a meter for its accuracy to ensure that it is within the set tolerances. Accuracy must be within ±2%.
Umeme as a licensee is required to have the facilities to test a meter and is the first point of call when one has a query with a meter. Once the customer is not comfortable with the test results, he can then request for a test from UNBS/ERA for comparison of results.
Should the customer prefer an independent entity to test their meter, the customer will have to incur the costs involved at that entity’s set fees. ERA and UNBS have a memorandum of understanding regarding independent meter testing if need occurs but the customer pays at UNBS’ set fee.
Once a customer has requested Umeme to test his meter, Umeme charges a standard fee for meter testing at Shs.5000. This money is refundable to the customer if the meter passes the test.