The Complaints Officer of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) at the Bono Regional Office, Isaac Osei Agyeman, has said a total of 2,664 complaints have been received since the office was established in 2019.
He said so far, a total of GH¢512,873.29 in the form of compensations, adjustments and recoveries had been paid as settlement of complaints by consumers by the office which oversees the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions.
He disclosed this during a dialogue held as part of measures to enable the PURC to share its success story in the three administrative regions of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo since the establishment of its office in Sunyani in 2019 as well as educate consumers of utility services.
The occasion, which was attended by officials from NEDCo, GWCL, public and private institutions, assembly members as well as the security agencies, among others, was also used to collect feedback from the public on the performance of the utility companies, seek inputs from utility consumers and providers to enhance the activities of the PURC in the three regions.
Contributing to the discussions, the Director, Regional Operations of the PURC, Alhaji Jabaru Abukari, disclosed that the commission received a total of 10,987 complaints throughout the country against power and water distribution companies in 2021 as against the 7,067 complaints received in 2020.
He explained that 6,470, representing 58.89 per cent of the total complaints received, were lodged against the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), while 2,995 (27.26 per cent) were lodged against the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo).
According to him, 6,343 complaints out of the 6,470 made against the ECG during the period were resolved, while 2,854 out of the 2,995 complaints against NEDCo were also settled.
Alhaji Abukari added that a total of 1,398 complaints were made against the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in 2021 out of which 1,280, representing 98.71 per cent were resolved.
Complaints against consumers
He explained that under the PURC (Consumer Service) Regulation 2020, LI 2413, utility companies were also allowed to lodge complaints against consumers.
Alhaji Abukari said in the year under review, a total of 124 complaints were, therefore, lodged by the utility companies against some consumers.
He added that due to diligent investigations by the commission, the utility companies were made to pass credit adjustments to correct billing irregularities identified.
In all, he said accounts of complainants were credited with a total of GH¢5,778,379, while the indebtedness to the utility companies amounting to GH¢548,383 was paid.
During the dialogue, the PURC ordered NEDCo to replace a rotten pole sited in the Asuakwaa Electoral Area, near Sunyani, following a complaint made by the Assemblyman, Mr Richard Damalie, that his plea over the past two years had not been heeded to.
The Executive Secretary of the PURC, Dr Ishmael Ackah, warned aggrieved consumers against assaulting staff of utility companies when they had issues with their services.
He stated that the doors of the commission were open to receive complaints for redress and warned that those who took the law into their hands and assaulted staff of utility companies would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
Dr Ackah also called on the utility companies to educate their consumers to enable them to be abreast of their operations.
He also commended the Bono Regional Office of the PURC for how it had kept in touch with consumers and utility providers since its establishment in 2019.
For his part, the Bono Regional Manager of the PURC, Patrick Antwi, gave an assurance that the PURC remained committed to the interests of both consumers and the utility services and asked them not to hesitate to reports issues for redress.