Jude Aduamoah-Addo (left), Eastern Regional Manager of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, addressing consumers of electricity and water at Asamankese
Jude Aduamoah-Addo (left), Eastern Regional Manager of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, addressing consumers of electricity and water at Asamankese

Asamankese utility consumers appeal for realistic bills

Consumers of electricity at Asamankese and its surrounding areas in the Lower West Akim Municipality in the Eastern Region have raised concerns about the high electricity tariffs they are charged.

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They have also complained about wrong billing, delays in submitting bills, which at times cover three months, high estimated bills, as well as bills not reflecting on the electricity apps.

They have further registered their displeasure about unwarranted disconnections.

They shared these concerns at a public forum organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on the tariff reckoner and PURC electricity consumption estimator.

Consumers, and officials of the PURC, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) attended the forum.

Tariff reckoner

The tariff reckoner is a new system which allows an electricity consumer can calculate his or her consumption on a mobile phone.

According to the consumers, most often, electricity bills presented to them were too high, making them doubt if those were their actual consumption.

Most of the consumers were also unhappy about heavily polluted water running through their taps, which was unwholesome for domestic use.

Consumers of electricity and water at Asamankese

Consumers of electricity and water at Asamankese

Some of the water taps, they also said, were faulty, leading to volumes of wasted water, as well as irregular flow of water in the taps.

They, therefore, appealed to the PURC to ensure that the two utility companies, ECG and GWCL, lived up to expectations.

High bills

An electricity consumer, Charlotte Bans, said she had to pay as much as GH¢1,100, which to her was unreasonable.

She said she had not even paid GH¢500 for electricity before, using the same gadgets.

Another electricity consumer, Kwame Asamoah, said his electricity bill increased from GH¢400 to GH¢900 and when he complained, he was told that it was due to the digitisation of the billing system.

A consumer, Fatima Haruna, said dirty water most often flowed from her tap, which was unsafe for drinking.

Another water consumer, Mudasiru Bello, questioned whether a consumer had to pay for muddy water flowing from his or her tap, which could not be used for anything.

The Eastern Regional Manager of PURC, Jude Aduamoah-Addo, said the objective of the forum was to educate consumers on the new system of calculating electricity bills with their mobile phones.

That, he indicated, would help to address challenges associated with electricity billing.

He said consumers could now use the tariff reckoner and PURC electricity consumption estimator to calculate their bills per the units used, to avoid misunderstandings.

Mr Aduamoah-Addo advised consumers of both electricity and water to be conscious of energy and water conservation.

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Energy efficient

He said consumers should also buy energy-efficient appliances and conserve more water in their storage facilities.

Mr Aduamoah-Addo urged the ECG to undertake massive public education programmes on digitisation, especially in remote areas.

The Eastern Regional Public Relations Officer of the ECG, Emmanuel Halm, said the ECG had acknowledged the challenges facing consumers in the region and had started educational campaigns to address the issues.

He said the ECG apps were working and advised consumers to regularly update them to ensure they functioned well.

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Mr Halm complained about the rampant thefts of the company’s transformers and other essential ECG gadgets or equipment, which he said was worrying.

He, therefore, appealed to consumers, especially residents in the region, to help apprehend the unscrupulous persons to save the company.

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