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New electricity tariffs take off

BY: Rosalind K. Amoh
Samuel Dubik Mahama — MD, ECG
Samuel Dubik Mahama — MD, ECG

The 27.15 per cent power tariff increment for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), as approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), takes effect from today.

With its implementation, however, customers, depending on the category and consumption, will be paying slightly more, with the calculations, the inclusion of the statutory charges for VAT, as well as the streetlights and the national electrification levies.

With the new tariffs, residential consumers are the hardest hit, as they will now cumulatively pay 36.12 per cent more for what they consume on zero to over 600 units.

For lifeline users who consume from zero to 30 units, their increment is 28.52 per cent, while all commercial consumers of electricity and those within the special load tariff will pay five percent more.

Increment

On August 15, the PURC announced a 27.15 per cent increase in tariffs for electricity and 21.55 per cent for water, effective September 1, 2022.

That followed a proposal from the utility companies, the ECG and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), for an upward review of their tariffs to enable them to meet rising cost of operations and also be profitable in their operations.

Both service providers had requested over 100 per cent increment, but after consultations and discussions, the utility regulator announced the new tariffs.

How it works

Breaking down the numbers for the new tariffs, the Director of Communications of the ECG, William Boateng, explained that while the PURC-approved tariff was the collective average, depending on the category consumers were in, they could pay more or less.

“Let me use this simple analogy to explain. If 25 people eat 50 balls of kenkey, the assumption is that on the average each person will eat two balls. However, when you actually break it down, you will find out that while some people may eat just one, others may eat two and others even three or four balls.

“So per the increment, anyone who falls within the lifeline category and consumes from zero to 30 units could pay as little as GH¢15.32.

“For residential consumers, the cost has gone up by 36.12 per cent, so if you used to buy about GH¢150 worth of power, now it will cost about GH¢36.12 more,” he explained in an interview with the Daily Graphic ahead of the implementation of the new tariffs.

Mr Boateng said the ECG was set to begin the full implementation of the new tariff, as it had undertaken the necessary programming of its servers and systems.

Also, the technical staff who dealt with billings had undergone training to effectively and efficiently help customers adjust to the new tariff, he said.

“When the PURC informed us about the increment and the date of its implementation, we quickly set out to work,” he said.

He said the ECG had catalogued all unit consumptions and the expected cost in a ‘reckoner’ which would clearly explain how the tariff would apply and be billed.

“This will be displayed at all our district and customer service centres nationwide to guide customers on their electricity purchases. We know there will be some agitation at the beginning, but we will have our staff at all our offices to provide the needed support,” Mr Boateng said.

He said additionally, the power supplier had set up customer help desks in all its district offices and other customer service centres to assist customers who would require explanation or help them reconcile any challenges in accessing the service.

Conserve power

Mr Boateng said with the new tariff, even lifeline consumers had been affected, as the threshold had been reduced from 50 to 30 units.

He thus advised consumers to keep their consumption levels within budget by conserving energy.

“As it is with all increment, there will be no comfort adjusting to the new tariff immediately, so to make it bearable, the best advice will be for consumers to take charge of their personal consumption by conserving energy, which will lead to spending less on electricity,” he emphasised.

Water

The GWCL is yet to give any details concerning its implementation of the new tarrif.

The Daily Graphic gathered that the water company was yet to implement the new tariff, as it was awaiting a gazetted tariff from the PURC.