Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, and
Our cherished customers…
Recently Approved Electricity Tariffs
The Electricity Company of Ghana has organized this conference to share with the media issues relating to the recent approved electricity tariff which was effective 1stOctober, 2013. As announced by the PURC, the average increase for all customer categories was 78.9% except for life-line customers (i.e. consumption within 0-50 units) whose rate was increased by 65%.
ECG’s tariff proposal to the PURC applied for the Distribution Service Charge (DSC), which is the rate component that comes to ECG, to be increased from GHp9.76/kWh to GHp30.67/kWh. This represented a request for a 214% increase in the DSC. However, the new tariff increased the DSC from Ghp9.76/kWh to Ghp14.72/kWh, representing an increase of 50.9%.
Although it is indicated that the Automatic Tariff Adjustment Mechanism (ATAM) will be used in the near future for subsequent adjustments, it is worth informing our customers that for every unit of electricity sold a loss of GHp15.95/kWh is incurred. The company will make use of what has been offered it by the regulator to strengthen its finances within the shortest possible time and seek the support of financial institutions as well as its suppliers and manufacturers across the world to strive to execute its mandate of providing quality, safe and reliable electricity services to its cherished customers.
Implementation of the New Tariff
On the 1stof October, 2013, ECG began the implementation of the new tariff. In fact, our customers who are currently on the prepayment metering systems have started paying for the new rates. It is acknowledged that a number of these customers have experienced challenges after purchasing credits and loading them unto our meters. We wish to explain that the challenges experienced were due to programming difficulties which in most cases differ from customer to customer depending on consumption pattern and the frequency of buying units. ECG is rectifying the challenges through a re-programming exercise to mitigate any observed irregularity or loss of units encountered by the customer. The company therefore encourages its cherished customers who in one way or the other have identified any anomaly to immediately contact the nearest District or Customer Service Centre for redress.
The company further wishes to inform customers that reckoners which have calculated the consumption and corresponding charge for customers have been pasted at all its District and Customer Service Centres to inform customers of the application of the new tariff.
We wish to plead with our customers to constantly engage our officials on all issues that concern the provision of electricity services to their premises. We encourage the use of energy efficient equipment which are endorsed by the Energy Commission through the number of stars indicated on appliances. The most efficient way to mitigate the effect of any tariff is through energy conservation as recent studies have shown that conservation of energy can reduce bills by about 30%.
Quality of Service
Indeed, a lot of strategies are under implementation to ensure that significant improvement is seen in the provision of electricity distribution services. We wish to inform our customers that the company is currently implementing a project that aims at providing service connections to applicants within 24 hours after making payment for applications which do not require a pole. This project was piloted in the Achimota District and is fully operational in the Accra Regions. The target is to roll it out to all our 79 district offices by the end of this year.
ECG Management is monitoring the attitude of its employees, especially those that come into contact with customers to ensure that they put up behaviors that reflect the company’s values of Professionalism, Openness, Wellbeing, Excellence and Reliability. It has installed CCTV at all front-end offices to assist in remote monitoring of daily work. This is in addition to the provision of identification tags to all officers who come into contact with customers. We will further use this opportunity to appeal to our customers to report all behaviors they encounter which does not reflect the company’s values.
To minimize the frequency and duration of power outages, massive automation is required on the distribution network. To this effect, ECG is upgrading and installing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems on its high voltage and medium voltage networks across its operational areas. It is also currently training its engineers, technicians and artisans to perform maintenance and expansion works on energized/live equipment (i.e. the live-line work). This project which is costing ECG USD20M, requires the purchase of sophisticated tools and safety equipment to ensure that our field employees perform maintenance and repair works without switching the entire system off.
To complement these initiatives, mobile transformers and substations have been procured and deployed to all regional offices to support network operations. One area which is enormously benefiting in the use of a mobile substation is Dansoman Estates (i.e. Exhibition, Osofo Dadzie, Kakari Brobbey and Last Stop areas) which has one of the equipment permanently installed to address overloads and low voltages. ECG is currently replacing all 33kV obsolete switchgears at the primary substations in the Accra Metropolis at the cost of €13M.
ECG is also currently constructing a number of bulk supply points, primary and secondary substations together with interconnecting high voltage, medium and low voltage lines to properly distribute electricity to the door steps of customers. Some project areas include the fast growing areas such as Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi, etc. Shunt Capacity Banks are also being installed at strategic locations to address low voltage problems.
To ensure improved availability and accessibility to our services, ECG is exploring the possibility of introducing 24hr vending systems, i.e. the purchase and sale of units to its customers. We are also establishing more District Offices and Customer Service Centres to address customer complaints and challenges. Our localized call centres which exist in the district offices and the national call centre are available and therefore we urge our customers to make full use of them.
Finally, the issue of illegal connection is of grave concern to ECG having reduced total system losses from 27% in December 2011 to 22% in June 2013 through various project interventions such as the Loss Control Unit (LCU), the Utility Courts, secondary transformer metering and energy audit. We therefore take this opportunity to urge our cherished customers to support us by reporting to us on 0302-66 21 76 all cases of illegal connections.
We thank you for your understanding and continuous support, especially in challenging times such as these.
THANK YOU…! MAY GOD BLESS US ALL…!
William Hutton-Mensah, acting Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), says his outfit will deal with any employee, contractor or agent who engages in fraudulent deals.
According to him, the company does not want its reputation to be further damaged as revealed by Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ investigative exposé.
Mr Hutton-Mensah made this known on Thursday during a durbar with ECG workers at Cape Coast after he was introduced as the acting MD.
The acting MD, a former Director of Network Projects at ECG, who has worked with the company for 27 years, appealed to the public not to hesitate in reporting any corrupt deals of ECG officials.
Mr Hutton-Mensah also expressed worry about the attitude of some staff of ECG, saying such behaviour negatively affects productivity.
He therefore warned employees to discard the notion that government work could be handled anyhow.
He further charged them to go the extra mile and work hard to improve productivity in the company.
According to him, he would supply the various districts in the region with the adequate logistics to ensure power stability.
He also urged customers of ECG to assist the company by paying their bills promptly to ensure its smooth running.
Accompanying the acting MD were Lawrence Osei-Kuffuor, Director of ECG Board Secretariat and Tetteh Okyne, Director of Operations, ECG.
The Energy Commission has stated that it is criminal for anybody to sell meters of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to consumers. Consequently, it has asked consumers who have paid for electricity meters to be installed in their houses to make the receipts available to the commission for redress.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s Energy Month in Accra, a member of the Board of the commission, Dr Francis Dakura, said the illegal act was becoming rampant, promising that all efforts would be made to stop the practice. He explained that the meters were the property of the ECG used to measure the quantity of power consumed by the public and bill them accordingly. Dr Dakura said it was, therefore, wrong for the meters to be sold to the consumers and appealed to the general public to insist on their rights by refusing to pay for the electricity meters.
Dr Dakura, who is also the Member of Parliament for Jirapa, explained that the Power Month was set aside every year to educate the public on matters concerning electricity in the country. He said as part of activities for the month, the Energy Commission would meet with electrical contractors in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi to provide them with information on regulations on electrical wiring.
Dr Dakura said another aspect of the planned activities would be a stakeholders and consumers parliament where all the stakeholders including the Volta River Authority(VRA), ECG, GRIDCo, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and the Energy Commission would share one platform with consumers who would be offered an opportunity to speak about their complaints and expectations of the utilities and the regulatory bodies.
He said the Energy Commission would launch an SMS short code where consumers could send their messages and report incidents of outages in their areas and when power was restored for the commission to monitor the performance of the ECG. Another member of the Board of the commission, Mr Charles Kofi Wayo, said the commission was working hard to ensure that the ECG operated according to rules and regulations and also helping to resolve the intermittent blackouts experienced in some parts of the country.
source: Daily Graphic