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Consumers will pay less in billing ‘realignment’ – Power Ministry

The Energy ministry has clarified that electricity consumers will indeed experience some relief in their billings as a result of the “realignment” that has been effected in the ECG’s billing system.

There is massive confusion among consumers of power after spokespersons of the company and President John Mahama appeared to have contradicted each other on whether subsidies have been introduced in billings to ease pressure on consumers.

While the company claims government has subsidized the charges, the President told a Muslim gathering in Accra that there are no subsidies but rather, the system has been realigned.

However, a statement signed by deputy Power minister John Jinapor Thursday said “The Ministry has also noted varying commentary on the rationalization of lifeline tariffs and wishes to state that it has become necessary to carry out this re-alignment to ensure equity and fairness in the benefits of the lifeline tariff.

“Following extensive consultation amongst the power sector stakeholders, the electricity billing system has been realigned and all anomalies corrected. Consequently, customers of ECG and NEDCO are expected to enjoy some relief in the amount paid for electricity consumption”.

Below are details of the statement

STATEMENT ON POWER INTERRUPTIONS AND TARIFF CHANGES

Following recent interruptions in electricity supply in various parts of the country and changes in the tariff regime, the Ministry of Power wishes to clarify as follows:

1. The interruptions in electricity supply are due to temporary difficulties occasioned by:
a. Delay in the supply of light crude as a result of force majeure caused by unprecedented vandalism of major pipelines and five terminals in Nigeria.

The contracted supplier has, however, assured that it is pursuing all necessary measures to deliver crude in the shortest possible time.

b. Non-availability of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). This has led to a switch from gas to light crude as fuel to fire a number of thermal plants, which has resulted in a stretch of the consumption rate to conserve the limited stock.

c. The Akosombo Dam is at a record low. This has limited the amount of electricity generated from the plant.

The Ministry expects the situation to return to normal very shortly owing to contingency measures adopted to procure adequate quantities of fuel to generate enough power. Additionally, efforts are underway by BOST to secure strategic reserves of fuel to mitigate any future emergencies.

2. Tariff re-alignment

The Ministry has also noted varying commentary on the rationalization of lifeline tariffs and wishes to state that it has become necessary to carry out this re-alignment to ensure equity and fairness in the benefits of the lifeline tariff.

Following extensive consultation amongst the power sector stakeholders, the electricity billing system has been realigned and all anomalies corrected. Consequently, customers of ECG and NEDCO are expected to enjoy some relief in the amount paid for electricity consumption.

A new ‘reckoner’ which brings clarity and better understanding of the billing system is being published by the utility companies.

The reckoner shall be deployed to all district and regional offices of ECG/NEDCO as well as Customer Service Centres, to assist consumers accordingly.

We take this opportunity to express appreciation to consumers for their patience and understanding.

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