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Business News of Monday, 20 April 2020


Coronavirus: No free electricity for those disconnected – Energy Minister

Peter Amewu, Minister for Energy Peter Amewu, Minister for Energy

For those consumers who have been disconnected from the national grid by the power distributors will not enjoy the government’s three-month tariff absorption, Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu has said.

“If by the 9th of April, you are disconnected, then automatically, there is no way you are benefitting”, he told journalists at a press briefing on Thursday, 16 April 2020, explaining, however, that: “If for some reason, your disconnection was because [of bills owed] and you have made an attempt to pay that bill, then, of course, you will be entitled to enjoy”.

“Those that have been disconnected will not enjoy until they have been reconnected”, Mr Amewu insisted.

The government of Ghana, he also revealed, would spend GHS1 billion in absorbing the electricity bills of all domestic and commercial customers – totally for lifeliners and 50 percent for all others – as promised by President Nana Akufo-Addo, as part of measures to mitigate the economic burden on Ghanaians during the lockdown necessitated by the outbreak of coronavirus in Ghana.

The President announced in his sixth national address on the coronavirus situation that: “As part of measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the social and economic life of the country, we have decided on further measures of mitigation for all Ghanaians for the next three months, i.e. April, May and June”.

The government, he said, “will fully absorb electricity bills for the poorest of the poor, i.e. for all lifeline consumers, that is free electricity for persons who consume zero (0) to fifty (50) kilowatt-hours a month for this period. In addition, for all other consumers, residential and commercial, Government will absorb, again, fifty percent (50%) of your electricity bill for this period, using your March 2020 bill as your benchmark.

This is being done to support industry, enterprises and the service sector in these difficult times, and to provide some relief to households for lost income. Nevertheless, I urge all Ghanaians to exercise discipline in their use of water and electricity”.

Providing the cost implications of the tariff absorption on Thursday, 16 April 2020, the Energy Minister said about 87 percent of Ghanaians who are connected to the national grid through 4.8 million metres, would enjoy the intervention, which is estimated to cost the nation “approximately” GHc1 billion.