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Business News of Saturday, 28 May 2022

Source: starrfm.com.gh

PURC resolves 10,701 complaints, recovers GH¢5.7 million to customers

Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmeal Ackah Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmeal Ackah

The Public Utility Regulation Commission (PURC) has said it resolved 10,701 out of 10,987 utility related complaints in 2021 representing 97.49% resolution rate.

The complaints were related to issues of billing, metering, quality of service of supply, unlawful disconnection, damaged property and nonpayment of utility bills.

Prudent investigation by the commission also resulted in credit sales adjustment to the tune of about GH¢5,778,379.20 recovered for consumers.

The Board Chairman of PURC, Ebo B. Quagrainie said this when commissioning a new regional office in Koforidua.

He bemoaned the phenomenon of delayed payment of utility bills by customers of the utility service providers stating that the exchange rate effect on such debts continue to create foreign exchange losses to the service providers hence called for prompt payment.

He said currently PURC has offices in all ten traditional regions with effort underway to expand to the six (6) new regions.

The Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare said PURC has been playing pivotal role in balancing expectations of stakeholders such us government, legislature, trade unions, industries, the consuming public and the utility providers on the other hand.

He said the role of the commission has been necessary in the midst of fluctuations in tariffs however it is the need to enhance the already established mechanisms to make regulated utility companies financially viable taken into consideration negative impact of COVID-19 to Ghana’s economy.

The Chief of Staff called on PURC to mainstream sustainable measures targeted at enhancing quality and reliable services by utility providers and making tariffs more affordable.

She commended PURC for deepening its decentralization policy by bringing its offices to the regions closer to the doorsteps of consumers to facilitate stakeholder engagement, monitor performance of the utility providers and resolves concerns of consumers.

Akosua Frema Opare lauded PURC for the frontal role “in engaging stakeholders in a multi-year tariff review that is for the period of 2022 to 2027 which is currently ongoing and generating a lot of public interest and sometimes anxiety. However, it is my fervent hope that all stakeholders will engage actively in this review process and make their voice heard so that the final outcome will benefit the generality of all stakeholders.”

The Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmeal Ackah said the commission is investing in monitoring systems, capacity and infrastructure to ensure efficient utility services and avert unjustified tariff increment .

He said the commission is also making sure that consumers pay their bills on time and do not engage in illegal connections.

According to him, two regulatory audit units have been established to monitor the utility service providers to ensure they perform efficiently,adding that, the commission will soon launch Ghana Utility performance index to compare the performance of the utility services across ten operational regions of Ghana.

Additional, customer service clinic will be held in September this year to facilitate the interface of consumers and service providers to have their complaints resolved.

He said PURC is scaling up digitization drive including the use of social media to enable consumers engage the commission swiftly with their complaints for solution. “As I speak to you today, we have 500 WhatsApp groups for PURC alone across Ghana”.

Dr. Ackah said the commission is also mindful of government’s commitment to global energy transition agenda.

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