The Executive Secretary of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Mrs Mami Dufie Ofori, has said that, the new energy test meter laboratory, would help the Commission to improve on its monitoring of quality of service and also assess the integrity of meters used by regulated electric utilities.
She said this, as the utilities regulator commissioned an energy test meter laboratory at its head office in Accra.
She added that, the new development will help the Commission to conduct insulation resistance test, high voltage test, creep or no-load test, meter constant test, meter accuracy test, voltage variation test, frequency variation test and repeatability test.
Mrs Dufie Ofori, who recounted the difficulties the Commission had to go through using portable meter test equipment to undertake regulatory functions of resolving complaints bordering on meter accuracies and billing, expressed confidence that with the new laboratory, the Commission would be able to resolve such complaints promptly.
“It will ensure that energy meters being used by regulated utilities are efficient and fall within appropriate accuracy limit. Furthermore, it will enable the Commission to carry out random meter sampling tests and assert its independence and impartiality in carrying out its regulated functions.”
Speaking further on the complaints and how this new laboratory was going to help resolve issues, she said it is the commission’s mandate and it is its aim, to address the complains which come as quickly as possible, as credible as possible and as independent as it can.
“That is the objective of this laboratory. It is going to cut down the time for resolving their complains, it’s going to ensure the accuracy. I am saying the resolution time will be cut down by at least 50 percent.
“With this technology, the human factor is largely reduced and I believe that will retain the confidence of people.”
She further said that, with technology, credibility is assured as well as the independence of it because, “you will come out well.”
She commended the contractor, Alpha TND, an Indian company, for working hard despite the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that the project was completed in due time.
The laboratory, which cost the Commission some $150,000, is equipped with state-of-the-art stationary reference meter test bench which can test up to five electricity meters simultaneously.
The facility also has the capacity to test both single and three-phase meters.
The technology is also said to have a test bench and five-meter positions, which will enable more than one testing to be carried at a time. The technology also has scanner heads which will also pick the rotation and the pulses of the meter.
The technology is also said to be movable and adjustable which will enable the meter to be fixed, moved, and adjusted when being scanned.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) was set up as a multi-sectorial regulator by Government of Ghana as part of the utility sector reform process to regulate the provision of utility services in the electricity and water sectors.
By virtue of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541), PURC also has regulatory responsibility over charges for transportation of natural gas services.