Saturday, 26 December 2020

PURC and ECG working on prepaid complaints by customers

 

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has said it is keenly investigating complaints of challenges being experienced by ECG Pre-paid customers nationwide.

 

In a Press Statement issued by the regulator said: “It has come to the notice of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURL), complaints from a number of prepayment meter customers within the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) operational areas on irregularities they are facing in vending for power, the statement signed by the Executive Secretary, Mami Dufie Ofori said.

 

The PURC however assured that it will take the appropriate regulatory actions when investigations are completed.

 

“The Commission reiterates its commitment in protecting the interest of consumers and utility service providers with the aim of achieving quality utility service.”

 

The challenges are cropping up at a time when the need for reliable and consistent power- supply is paramount.

 

The regulator’s intervention comes after the Institute for Energy Security (IES) calls for ECG to fix challenges being experienced by pre-paid customers nationwide.

 

However, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has said its metering systems do not have a feature that converts electricity credit to debits.

 

The response comes after the Institute of Energy Security (IES) in a statement raised concerns of recent widespread challenges being experienced by pre-paid customers of ECG.

 

“These customers who have pre-financed the use of electricity at a later time are having their electricity credits being converted to debits. That the more a customer buys power to be used, the more that customer owes the ECG – resulting in many homes and workplaces being disconnected,” the IES earlier said.

 

But in a reaction to the reports, Managing Director of the ECG, Kwame Agyeman-Budu in a statement assured affected customers that the power distribution company was in no way disenfranchising its customers.

 

“There is no feature in the prepayment systems that converts electricity credit to debt, nor is there a facility where the more a customer buys electricity, that customer will owe ECG. Generally, with ECG prepaid meters, money is deposited into a meter account and dispensed with an approved tariff till it is finished, then the meter disconnects electricity supply till another deposit is made,” the ECG explained.

 

“In some minimal cases, the meter breaker stays connected and the meter continues to record the customer's consumption on a zero balance, and this can lead to a debt,” the statement added.

 

The power distribution company noted, “A team of technical staff have been deployed to upgrade the communication network between the prepaid meters and the server, and this has resulted in the increasing debts of customers whose meters have been operating on credit mode, and as such have not made any commensurate purchases of electricity used over the months”

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