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General News of Monday, 30 May 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

We aren’t conniving with gov’t to cheat consumers – ECG

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has rejected claims by a former Deputy Energy Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, K.T Hammond, that it is conniving with government and other agents to cheat consumers.

K.T Hammond early on claimed government, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission( PURC) and the Ghana Standards Authority deliberately tampered with some meters, leading to some billing irregularities.

But the Public Relations Officer of the ECG, William Boateng , in an interview with Citi News, dismissed these claims , saying “these meters have been in the system long before the tariff increment so how did we remove them from the poles …It is not true. He [K.T Hammond] got the information wrong. There is nothing like that.”

Tariff increases

The PURC late last year sanctioned an increase of 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent for electricity and water tariffs respectively.

But businesses and individuals have since expressed their displeasure with the increment, describing it as astronomical.

Suspend billing software

The PURC in a bid to resolve this problem last Tuesday instructed the ECG to suspend the implementation of their new billing software until further notice.

A statement signed by the PURC’s Public Relations Director, Nana Yaa Jantuah, said the directive was necessitated by incessant complaints from customers who alleged that they were being over-billed by the ECG.

We’ll beat ECG staff

Prior to the PURC’s directive, some Ghanaians in various regions demonstrated against ECG with some threatening to beat their workers over high utility tariffs.

Some areas that demonstrated over the development included the Kwaebibirem District of the Eastern Region and Teshie in Accra.

Compensate consumers

Meanwhile, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), has said it is not enough for the PURC to suspend the implementation of the new electricity billing software by the ECG but ensure that customers are compensated.