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PURC shot-down the rate of increment proposed by ECG and GWCL

Adnan Adams Mohammed

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has indicated that utility service providers won’t get anything close to their huge tariff demands.

This latest pronouncement is a reveler to many as the Commission is yet to complete its ongoing nationwide public hearing on the proposed tariff reviews.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has proposed an increment in tariffs by 148% while the Ghana Water Company Limited is asking for its tariffs to go up by 343%. This ignited a heated debate with majority of consumers opposing the proposed increment.

“Though PURC is still considering a number of things, the utility firms will not get the huge margins they had proposed”, the Technical Committee Chairman of PURC, Ishmael Edjekumhene, has said when speaking at the Takoradi Public Hearing on the proposed tariff review for 2022-2027.

“We are now beginning the detailed analysis of the proposals to see how prudent their (utilities) cost are to see the extent to which they’ve complied with the guidelines that we provided to them and then ultimately, once we’ve looked at all the numbers provided, we will take a decision. That decision can either go up, stay the same or come down because in 2018 the commission looked at all the numbers and was able to tell Ghanaians or tell the utilities that even though you are asking for an increment we think that the tariff should come down.”

“So once we are satisfied with the analysis, what Ghanaians should expect is an announcement. If you go and compare the history of tariffs setting in Ghana and you compare the proposals as submitted by the utilities to what is ultimately approved, you will see that there’s a vast difference. It is not going to be a straightforward matter in the sense that we are coming to look at the numbers and what I’m certain of is that there is nowhere some of the things they are talking about are going to end up being the cost that consumers are going to pay”, he said.

The Executive Secretary of the PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah also speaking at the Takoradi organized public hearing on the tariff proposals said the utility companies could have done themselves good if their service provision had been better all this while and could have helped them from the resistance by consumers to pay more.

“47% of about 851 respondents in a survey we conducted indicated that they are willing to expect some adjustments on the condition that services will improve. So this year, in September, PURC is launching a customer service clinic so that utilities will tell customers that you can apply for a meter even if you don’t know any big man and that it will take you three days for you to get the meter even if you don’t know any honourable member. If we are able to do these things, I think it will reduce the number of PowerPoint slides you present at these forums just to make a case for the increment to consumers”, he said.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s Takoradi Public Hearing on the proposed Tariff Review for 2022-2027 is the third after Accra and Ho in series of nationwide public hearings to enable utilities explain to consumers the rationale for their huge tariffs increment proposals.

Meanwhile, majority of consumers who spoke at the Takoradi hearing shot down the tariff increment proposal.

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