Tariff adjustment challenges will be minimal-ECG assures

The Electricity Company of Ghana, (ECG) is putting mechanisms in place to minimize challenges that may arise following the implementation of the recent tariff adjustments. Managing Director of the company, Engineer Samuel Boakye-Appiah has said.

The Implementation of 17.5 percent reduction of electricity prices for homes and 30 percent for businesses, as announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) a couple of weeks ago, began yesterday, although consumers will not see the reduction in their bills until April 1.

According to the ECG, the prepayment system will detect aggregate purchases for consumers and compute the reduction from March 15 to March 31, which will be refunded to them later.

Such adjustments over the years, have been characterized by confusion among customers due to inadequate education on the billing system.

However, addressing a press conference ahead of the implementation, Managing Director of ECG, Engineer Samuel Boakye-Appiah said their inability to let the reduction reflect in electricity bills is because their monthly billing cycle of the prepayment metering system does not allow them to implement the review in the middle of the month.

But he explained that massive education is ongoing to address challenges that may emerge

“Internally we are educating our officials on the implementation and issues that may arise. Between the time that the announcement was made and the time that customers will see the reduction on their bills, our frontline officers and everybody who is involved in this activity would be educated internally.” he noted.

Per the new arrangement, customers will receive their refund when they deposit cash or purchase electricity from April 1.

Boakye-Appiah further stated that “we are putting in the mechanism to disseminate information about it to both our customers and workers so that the usual challenges that come about when there is tariff adjustment will be minimized. Announcement of the reduction is not the end; there will be continuous engagement with stakeholders to ensure that.”

Although the downward adjustment of electricity tariff has been welcomed by the business community, some groups including the Association of Ghana Industry,  (AGI), have asked for further reduction.

They claim even with the adjustment, the cost of electricity remains their biggest challenge and the highest in West Africa.

By Nana Oye Ankrah