Officials of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have raised an alarm on unscrupulous activities by some individuals who have installed power meters through illegal means making it difficult for the company to bill such users.
Ashanti Regional PRO of ECG, Erasmus K. Baidoo, said such meters have been installed in various parts of the country without the company’s involvement, leading to revenue losses and increased burden on available power for distribution to consumers.
He told a forum of municipal, metropolitan and district assembly members in Kumasi recently that the meters could not be identified for billing purposes but the company managed to capture 70,000 of such meters existing in the system.
“Some meters in the system have not been installed through the proper channel to set and record them appropriately so that we can issue monthly bills for them. In 2014 alone, we saw that there were about 25,000 of such meters captured. In 2015, from January to November, we captured about 44,848 of such meters. If you put the two together, we are in the neighbourhood of around 70,000 of such meters and that is a huge number,” he said.
He said the development “is a problem to us [ECG] because they are adding to our bills, but we cannot account for them because we do not know where they are”.
“They are also adding to our losses and increasing our load on the feeders and the load on the conductors,” he observed.
This comes in the wake of several complaints by customers about astronomical increments in electricity tariffs in recent months.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) issued a directive following the detection of the anomalies and instructed the ECG to immediately suspend its new billing system.
Additionally, the regulator directed the state power distributor to take steps to interrogate why the tariffs of some customers had skyrocketed and find a solution to the problem in 10 days.
The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has also ordered the Mines and Energy Committee to investigate the errors in the billing system of ECG and resolve the matter after some legislators raised the issue on the floor of parliament.