Accra-based Italian Restaurant, Bread and Wine, indeed consumed power to the tune of about GHc60,000 for two months. That’s according to the Ministry of Power, which ordered an audit of the charges, after the company threatened to close down following the astronomical charges.According to the Power Ministry, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), is not to blame for the bill incurred by the Italian eatery.
The Ministry directed a systems audit of the metering system of the restaurant following complaints of over-billing.
The eatery, which has employed about sixty Ghanaians, threatened to shut down following what they described as unfair electricity charges by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Many Ghanaians have complained of exorbitant charges following an increase of 59.2% in electricity tariff last December.The company said the charges by the ECG, cannot reflect their consumption but their complaints fell on deaf ears, as ECG officials asked them to leave the country if they were not comfortable with the charges.
The management was of the opinion that a new meter installed by the ECG was to blame for the increase.Speaking to Citi News, the Deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor, blamed the high bills on the lack of efficient-energy saving appliances used at the restaurant. “The preliminary reports from the Energy commission indicates that the gadgets there are quite energy consuming and some of them are not energy efficient.” “Even if you look are their gardens alone, the amount of bulbs there, most of which are not LED bulbs, they consume a lot,” Mr Jinapor revealed.
The Energy Ministry has however taken steps to help the eatery to regulate and reduce their electricity consumption. “So the energy commission has been directed by the Ministry to generate a report and also recommend to the company on how they can balance their load so that they can reduce their billing in terms of consumption,” Mr Jinapor revealed.
A special taskforce made of high profile staff of ECG and the Ministry of Power visited selected Special Load tariff(SLT) customers of ECG on the 26th of January 2016. The team was led by the Deputy Minister Of Power, John Abu Jinapor. The team included the Ag. Managing Director of ECG, Mr. Robert Dwamena and the Chief Executive Officer of VRA, Ing Kirk Kwofie.
resolve to clamp down on illegal connections to reduce its commercial loses. This exercise is to ensure that meters are well calibrated and customers are paying the right bills.
ECG has recorded cases where some power consumers either undertook illegal connections or tampered with the meters to cause reductions in the amount expected to be paid to the country’s power distributor. While some of these identified persons were put before the courts and made to pay huge sums of money to the state, others were made to serve prison sentences as punishment for their dishonesty.
A special court, which sits on Saturdays, has been assigned for such prosecutions. The taskforce took some companies within the North Industrial Area by surprise. The Deputy Minister for Power, John Abdulai Jinapor, led the group on the fact finding mission as they wanted to know if they were paying the right amount for the power they consumed in the company of journalists from selected media organisations. The customers visited included Latex Foam, Dannex Ghana Limited and Fan Milk.
At the first point of call, Latex Foam, owners of the facility got offended at the unannounced visit, coupled with the fact that their premises was being captured by the cameras. They were full of rage, even when the minister had come in to explain the purpose of the stopover.
Tempers were calmed after some 15 minutes, only for the keys to the metering system, which had been securely locked, to be far from reach. The lock had to be forced open, in order to permit entry. The technical team, led by the acting Manager of Technical Investigations, Ishmael Oku, found the integrity of the meter perfect, after they had subjected it to an audit procedure for close to 15 minutes.
The story was no different at Dannex and Fan Milk, which also boasted of meters which had not been tampered with. At Fan Milk for instance, initially, there was some level of resistance on the part of the security, who claimed not to have been instructed by their employers to allow the team in.
However, when the sector minister introduced himself, the group was allowed in, but this was not accompanied by keeping them waiting in the open compound of the company for the consent of the Human Resource Manager to be sought. There too, after the requisite checks had been done, the technical investigations manager and his team were convinced their system was intact.
Briefing the media after the exercise, Mr. Jinapor said the major challenge facing his ministry was that of finance and that they were on that special unannounced assignment to block the leakages that accounted for their loss in revenue.
“…We continue to witness energy theft in the power sector, resulting in loss of revenue…all those in the sector have formed a taskforce and being the leader of the ministry, I decided to be part of the exercise to make people aware that we are serious,” he said.
Stressing that all monies owed by their consumers would certainly be collected, he said hotels, night clubs, ministries and their agencies would be the target. He added that all ministries would be made to pay for the power they consume, saying “a section of the society should not be made to pay while others are not.”
Accra, April 18, 2016. The Millennium Development Authority, MiDA, has organised a Road Show for prospective investors seeking to manage, operate and invest in Ghana’s largest power distributor, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). The Roadshow, held in Accra, is an event under the Private Sector Participation in ECG activity within the ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround (EFOT) Project, which is one of six major projects under the Ghana Power Compact Programme.
Over 150 participants, including ministers of state, government officials, representatives from the Ministries of Power, Finance, Justice and Attorney-General, Gender, Children and Social Protection, management officials of ECG, PURC and Energy Commission attended the event. Local and foreign organisations that have expressed interest in the Private Sector Participation (PSP) in ECG transaction, development partners and financial institutions were also present.
In his welcome address, Ing. Owura Sarfo, Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, expressed his pleasure that so many of the invitees had honoured the request to attend the Roadshow. “I see today’s event as part of the process to positively transform Ghana’s Power sector” he said. Ing. Sarfo explained that the Road Show was to provide more information on the transaction and to give prospective investors an opportunity to meet other investors, form strong alliances and to also facilitate the promotion of local content requirement in the PSP transaction.
Launching the Road Show, Hon. John Jinapor- Deputy Minister for Power, commended MiDA for putting the event together and reiterated government’s commitment to the PSP in ECG transaction. He said “government’s objective for the PSP in ECG is to have a technically and financially sound ECG, which is key to making Ghana’s power sector a vital engine of the country’s development.” “I urge everyone present here to take advantage of the networking opportunity provided here to deliberate on ways to collaborate and take advantage of the opportunities that the project presents particularly with regards to local content requirements.” Hon. Jinapor said.
As part of processes towards selecting a concessionaire for the transaction, MiDA recently published, in the Ghanaian and foreign print media, a request to pre-qualify (RfQ) for selection of a concessionaire to operate, manage and invest in ECG. A presentation explaining the RfQ process was delivered by Julius Kpekpena, Chief Operating Officer of MiDA. He explained that the RfQ spells out the criteria to qualify companies that have expressed interest in the PSP in ECG transaction. Companies that have expressed interest in the transaction, also known as bidders, will be shortlisted following the RfQ to submit their proposals on how they intend to operate the concession under the terms and conditions highlighted in the Request for Proposals (RfP)
Mr Kpekpena also said that submissions for both the RfQ and the RfP will be reviewed by an independent panel of reviewers constituted for each process. He emphasized that MiDA is waiting to receive the credentials of nominated panel members from agencies and institutions with expertise in reviewing procurement processes of this nature.
Prospective investors or bidders who attended the event acknowledged that the roadshow had been worthwhile and are looking forward to the processes leading to the award of the concession to the winning bidder.
An explosion at the Electricity Corporation of Ghana Bulk Supply station in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region has left parts of Kumasi without electricity.
The explosion occurred around 5:00 pm, Thursday, the cause of which is yet to be ascertained.
ECG Power engineers are currently engaged in the restoration process to minimize the duration of the interruption. As at 7pm, the Engineers had restored power to some parts of Kumasi as they continue to work to restore power to the rest of its customers in Kumasi.
The earth reactor, cables and other key materials that supply electricity to the area have been completely burnt.
The fire that accompanied the explosion has been put out.