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Regional News of Friday, 1 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

ECG ready to implement COVID-19 special electricity relief for customers

Correspondence from Western Region

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has assured that plans are afoot to implement the COVID-19 special electricity relief for consumers announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on April 9, 2020, providing update on COVID-19.

The relief will commence effectively on May 01, 2020, for prepaid customers while post-paid customers will have theirs reflecting on their April 2020 bills that will be delivered by end of May 2020.

Mr. Benjamin Quarcoo, Western Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the ECG who disclosed this in an interview explained that the delay in implementation was not an act of sabotage for the utilities to propose not to implement the Presidential directive until May 2020 when the directive said in clear terms that it is to take effect in April 2020.

"At the date of the announcement, a lot of clients had already purchased their credits and that implementing it immediately would have therefore been to their (customers) disadvantage", he explained.

According to him, lifeline customers are generally regarded as underprivileged with low electricity consumption and since the economic hardships imposed by COVID-19 are generally across board, it was only prudent and proper that lifeline customers enjoy a total waiver while the others enjoy a 50% rebate using their March 2020 consumption as the benchmark.

"For instance, how do you know the relief amount due you if you are a prepaid customer? If the amount consumed is less than GH? 19.26 you are a lifeline customer and you will, therefore, be given in full units purchased or consumed in March 2020", he explained.

He clarified that benchmark which is crucial to avoid abuse should be one’s consumption at a time they didn’t know about any intention or plan of government to absorb part of their electricity bills for a period of time so that it can give a fairly accurate and true picture of one’s regular consumption.

Mr. Quarcoo also enlightened that it does not change anything if one does not have any money to buy credits between now and May 01, 2020, adding, "if your consumption for the benchmark period is zero, either as a prepayment customer or a post-paid customer, you will receive GH¢ 2.13 which is the total billed amount because of service charge. However, if you’re a lifeline customer you get the full benefit".

However, he stressed that if you were disconnected for an illegality, you shall not benefit and if you were disconnected for non-payment you could be reconnected for the period.

He noted that about 80% of high consuming customers including SLT customers on post-paid receive their bills through email hence, bill will be delivered through email while SMS messages sent to customers who have provided their correct emails and phone numbers when they do not receive their bills.