The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has revealed that consumers will pay more than the percentage increase announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).
According to ECG, exclusive lifeline beneficiaries’ consumption has been pegged at 30kWh. It highlighted that it has catalogued all unit consumption and the expected cost in a “Rekoner” which clearly explains how tariff is applied and billed.
“It is important to note that the average percentage increase is on energy consumption only, therefore the addition of statutory levies and other fixed charges will increase the average percentage announced by the PURC. In effect, individual customers’ tariff percentage increase will depend on customer classification and consumption category.”ECG
Contained in a statement signed by the Managing Director, Samuel Mahama, it stated that it will implement the PURC-approved major tariff announced on September 1, 2022. The power distribution company expressed commitment to ensuring the smooth implementation of the new tariff.
ECG further noted that the new bill and other information will be displayed at all our districts and customer service centres nationwide to guide customers on their electricity purchases. ECG, by this, entreated its customers, “to take charge of their personal consumption by conserving energy which will lead to spending less on electricity”.
Help desk established to help customers
Meanwhile, ECG stated that it has established customer help desks in all its district and customer service centres to assist, explain and reconcile any challenges experienced by customers.
It will be recalled that on August 15, 2022, the PURC announced an increase in electricity tariff by 27.15. The Commission noted that in balancing the interests of service providers and consumers, it acknowledged the very economic variables that have occasioned the steep increases proposed by the service providers also affect consumers.
Nonetheless, it indicated that “some level of increases in utility tariffs were inevitable” if the nation was to avoid another power crisis and its attendant effects, including job losses.
The Commission expressed that it was guided in its decision by the supreme interests of consumers and the general economic conditions prevailing in the country. It highlighted that existing tariff is structured in a manner that “slaps industry with punitive tariffs” in order to subsidize residential consumers of electricity. This structure, it explained, has contributed to loss of competitiveness of Ghanaian industry including small and medium size household enterprises.
Despite its reasons, the minority in parliament stated that the free fall of the cedi and rising inflation rate emphasize the need for government to consider reducing the rate of increments for utility tariffs.
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, John Jinapor, noted that increase will also “worsen the plight of the already impoverished Ghanaian”. Mr Jinapor further clarified that the 27 per cent increase in electricity does not apply to every consumer.
Mr Jinapor stated that the bulk of residential consumers fall within the 0-300 kWh bracket and will therefore be adversely affected by the adjustment. He further cautioned the PURC to refrain from capturing the AKSA plant which has had its contract tenure expired in the price build-up since that will be illegal.