EEU to enhance services for its prepaid electricity users

The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) is set to revolutionize the experience for nearly 900,000 prepaid electricity customers with the development of a new $48 million technology center. Slated for completion by year-end, this initiative aims to streamline operations and significantly improve customer satisfaction.

The new technology excellence center, located in Kotebe, Addis Ababa, will address frequent complaints from prepaid customers regarding service delivery issues such as power outages at service centers, lack of accessible service locations, and disruptions in payment notification messages. Additionally, the center is designed to eliminate the need for customers to endure long queues, which have been a significant time and cost burden.

Melaku Taye, the Director of Corporate Communications at EEU, explained that the current prepaid service system has faced numerous challenges. The upgrade will allow customers to recharge their electricity using cards or digital payments, eliminating the need to physically visit service centers.

“Starting next year, prepaid service users will be able to charge their accounts online or via card, making transactions more convenient and accessible,” Melaku said.

EEU, which serves over 4.6 million customers nationwide, including more than 3.75 million post-paid and over 900,000 prepaid users, launched an international tender to enhance its technological capabilities. A leading Chinese company specializing in smart power distribution solutions won the $48.8 million bid and is currently fast-tracking the construction process.

The technology overhaul at the Kotebe center will not only cater to existing prepaid customers but also to new users who will be integrated into the system in the coming years. In 2022, EEU plans to implement a system allowing for remote energy consumption readings, which will provide customers with real-time data on electricity usage and ensure accurate billing without manual meter reading.

This modernization effort represents a significant shift from the traditional prepaid meters, where energy consumption was recharged with a manually entered secret number. The upcoming system promises a more efficient and user-friendly approach, aligning with EEU’s commitment to enhancing service delivery across the country.

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