Pre-paid meter users raise hell
Few weeks after an almost 60 percent increase in electricity tariffs, electricity consumers have been complaining bitterly about unfair deductions of their credit units.
Most of the affected consumers are prepaid meter users. The affected users who spoke to Business Finder were mostly residents of Adenta, Madina, East Legon, Hattaso, Taifa, Tantra Hills and its surrounding areas in the Greater Accra region.
According to them, though they lost some huge units of credits right from the implementation of the 59.2 percent increase in light bill, the situation appears to have continued unabated.
A visibly disturbed Kwasi Duku of Madina Social Welfare area told this paper he couldn’t understand why GH¢180 worth of electricity credit he bought on January 11, 2016, could just finish in three days’ time.
“We are three tenants sharing a common meter. Before the increment in electricity, we could buy GHc120 and use it for two weeks…but now we buy GHc180 and in only three days it gets finished.”
Kwabena Amoah of Adenta SSNIT Flats accused ECG of stealing credits belonging to consumers.
According to him, a GH¢30 unit of credit he bought from ECG on January 13, 2016, got finished the next day January 14 with a flimsy excuse by the ECG official at the Legon ECG Branch office. “The ECG representative told me that the subsidy we enjoyed from government in the past has reduced drastically, hence the reason.”
Abiba Suleimana of Kwabenya in the Ga North-East of the Greater Accra region for her part warned the ECG and the government to treat Ghanaians well. “We are already suffering from the harsh economic conditions so they cannot consume our monies like that.”
A security officer at one of the ECG branches told this reporter that “many people have been coming here daily since mid-December to complain about deductions of their credit units. They claim ECG officials are thieves and are stealing their units.”
Already, industries have begun feeling the pinch of the increment in the electricity tariffs.
Most businesses have been adjusting their expenditure upwards to meet rising operational costs, a development that will immensely affect their profit margins.
Labour groups headed by the Ghana Trades Unions Congress are also planning series of street protests and demonstrations to compel government to reasonably reduce both fuel and utility tariffs.
Meanwhile, several telephone calls made to the ECG Public Relations Manager, William Boateng, for reaction proved futile as he did not answer the calls.
Last year, the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) increased electricity and water tariffs by 59.2 and 67.2 percent respectively for residential consumers in the country. The implementation took effect from December 14, 2015.
The ECG has already issued a statement promising to rectify the anomalies associated with the implementation of the new tariff adjustments and promised to refund monies to customers as a result of the error.
In a press statement issued on December 29, ECG said “the Company’s billing cycle including prepayment vending is a monthly cycle system. Therefore, any cash deposit for electricity will bill from December 1, 2015, at the adjusted new rate of 59.2 percent instead of from December 14, 2015, as announced by PURC.”
According to the power transmitter, the tariff difference between December 1 and December 13, 2015, will be reconciled, and the difference refunded in January. 2016.