The Tema Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG), said it retrieved GH¢9,725,011.18 from customers, who illegally utilised electricity without paying, from January to December, 2020.
The General Manager for ECG, Tema Region, Mr Emmanuel Akinie, who announced this in a statement to the Daily Graphic last Thursday, said the money was retrieved through special monitoring exercises carried out by the Revenue Protection and Loss Control Unit of the Regional Office.
He described the outcome of the exercise as a significant progress in the fight against illegal connection, which he said continues to be a troublesome issue for the operations and commercialisation of their activities.
According to the statement, the Revenue Protection and Loss Control Unit of the Regional Office, through monitoring and special exercises over a year was able to determine a loss of 10.81GWh of energy, which is estimated to be GH¢9,725,011.18.
He said of this figure, the amount which had been paid to the company was GH¢7,855,404.90, while the balance of GH¢1,869,606.28 was yet to be paid as some of the affected clients had an agreed payment plan and terms over a period with the company.
Mr Akinie said the recoveries were made as a result of monitoring 12,635 meters of residential, non-residential and Special Load Tariff (SLT) customers between January and December 2020.
“Of the number of meters monitored, 541 were discovered to have issues of illegal connections including meter bypass, unauthorised service connections and meter tampering,” he said.
According to the statement, the Revenue Protection and Loss Control Unit could not monitor many meters mainly because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it brought with it, a number of restrictions in human movement, social and safety protocols, which made usual visits to certain areas and homes especially difficult. In view of that a number of planned monitoring activities had to be suspended.
The Tema Region has seven districts under it. The districts are Tema North, Tema South, Nungua, Ada, Afienya, Prampram and Krobo. The illegal connections and energy theft recovery were realised from monitoring activities in all these districts.
Mr Emmanuel Akinie indicated that legal action would be taken against culprits of illegal connections as the activities border on criminal intent and action. He also added that “the ECG has a legal mandate to prosecute persons involved in illegal energy theft.” He, therefore, warned customers to desist from such illegal acts.
He indicated that ECG had a policy to reward people who informed the company of illegal connections with six per cent of the amount involved in that specific case and urged the public to report all such activities to his outfit for the necessary action to be taken.
“In the face of the health pandemic afflicting the world, the company promises to keep to the proposed protocols to help stop the spread of the virus. We are guided, as much as possible, by these protocols in all our operations and dealings with customers,” Mr Akinie said.