Close this search box.

Pay your electricity bills; stop illegal connection – PURC, TUC to consumers

Illegal Power Theft at Kpong-Lorlornyor

Consumers have been inspired to promptly pay their bills and stop illegal connections to enable the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to operate efficiently.

That, together with ECG resolving its technical and commercial losses, and providing revenue efficient metres to consumers, would lead to generating sufficient revenue to provide stable and affordable electricity to all.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) made this call amidst recent power outages, largely attributed to liquidity challenges.

According to the utilities sector regulator, ECG currently generates an average of GHS850 million out of the expected GHS1.9 billion monthly required revenue, leaving a gap that is impacting its operations, and causing power outages.

At a media training in Aburi in the Eastern Region on Saturday, April 20, Dr Ishmael Ackah, Executive Secretary, PURC, and Dr Adu Gyamfi, Director, Research and Policy, TUC, echoed the need for collectively solving the current power outages in the country.

They asked ECG to be more aggressive in solving the various systematic challenges, raise enough revenue to pay value chain players, while consumers also paid their electricity bills and avoid illegal connections.

Speaking at the programme, Dr Ackah said, “let’s support the utilities, including ECG, to increase their revenue, because whatever debt is in the sector, we [consumers] pay either through tariffs or taxes.”

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Dr Adu Gyamfi, who is also a Commissioner of PURC, said, “while we call on the ECG to do their part, it’s important for us, the citizens who consume the electricity to pay [our bills].”

He stated that many people were consuming electricity more than they actually paid, by connecting to others, partly due to ECG’s systemic challenges and consumers inability to access metres.

“We encourage ECG to put its house together to address those systemic issues. At the same time, consumers should also support ECG by avoiding these illegal connections, and conserve power,” he added.

He said, “this appeal is based on the fact that any cost being incurred by ECG, any used and unpaid electricity, eventually, would have to be paid for by the same consumers, either in the form of a higher tariff or taxes. So, it’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that we do the right things.”

Mr Patrick Nyarko, Chairman, Research and Stakeholder Management Committee, PURC, bemoaned the situation where some people used high voltage equipment, including a 2.5 horse power air conditioner, yet evaded the payment of bills or paid less than what they consumed.

“You’ve used some crook electrician and ECG is unable to account for the kind of energy that they’ve sold to you, and you think that probably you’re worrying about ECG, but when the light is off, we all suffer,” he said.

He noted that it would take everyone playing its role effectively for the country to have reliable and affordable electricity to fuel sustainable development, saying, “if we put our heads together, we should be able to do the right thing.”

He encouraged journalists to always defend what is of national interest, more than partisan political discussions that often dominated the Ghanaian media space, particularly issues pertaining to the energy sector.

Mr Nyarkoh was optimistic that the training would broaden the knowledge of journalists, make them understand the works in the electricity value chain, and be in the capacity to report to inform the public on their rights as consumers.

The training covered the Ghana Utility Performance Index (GUPI), Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWF), PURC Research, and a newly approved Capital Contribution Guidelines for the utilities sector.

Source: GNA

More stories here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *