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General News of Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Source: GNA

Coronavirus: ECG asks customers to conserve energy

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in the Volta region has entreated customers to conserve energy during the COVID-19 pandemic to enjoy full benefits of government’s relief packages.

Mr Benjamin O. Antwi, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Company in the Region in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said with many people using energy-consuming appliances at home in the wake of the pandemic, domestic consumption was likely to increase hence the need to conserve it.

He explained that for instance if a customer’s relief package was GHC 100.00 based on March consumption for April, May and June, that customer may not buy power for the three months if the consumption remained same.

The PRO said customers could conserve power by ironing in bulk, using energy conservation bulbs, avoiding opening of fridges multiple times and turning off electrical gadgets when not in use.

Mr Antwi said the Company was working to resolve post-implementation challenges facing some customers and noted that customers who failed to purchase power in April did not get any relief package when they purchased for the first time in May because they reported their consumption for March and April with their first purchase in May.

“Such customers got their relief package on their second purchase in the month of May,’ the PRO explained.

On multiple deductions of service chargeS, Mr Antwi explained that some customers delayed in purchasing pre-paid credit for a long time, which necessitated the deductions.

He observed that some meters failed to communicate with ECG servers due to tampering by some customers, which had affected date and time, leading to non-deduction of service charge for a while.

"For such customers, we visited their premises to reset their meters for them," Mr Antwi added.

The PRO, therefore, appealed to customers to visit the Company’s offices for the prompt resolution of emerging challenges to set the stage for all to benefit from the COVID-19 relief package.

Mr Antwi urged customers especially those on post-paid meters in Volta and Oti regions to settle all indebtedness as at March in full insisting postpaid customers enjoying 50 per cent reduction as relief package from the government should endeavour to pay the other 50 per cent.

He called on them to download the ECG App or dial the USSD short code *226# to pay their bills as decongestion measures towards containing the COVID-19.

The PRO called on customers to approach the rainy season with caution and avoid touching electrical cables during storms, overloading sockets, seeking refuge under trees with overhead electricity cables and use raincoats or plastic umbrellas during rainfall and wear rubber slippers in areas closer to fridges to avoid electrocution.

He urged the public to contact ECG on 0302611611 to report challenges affecting them.

The COVID-19 Electricity Relief Package, which was announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on April 9, 2020, was targeted at mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the citizenry.

Under the package, the government would absorb the entire electricity bills of lifeline consumers - customers, who consume from zero to 50 kilowatts per hour, while residential and commercial consumers were to benefit from a 50 per cent discount of their bills based on their March consumption.