The Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) organized and moderated a public hearing on utility upward adjustment on Monday the 16th of May 2022.
The public was encouraged and given the platform to voice their concerns on the proposed tariff increment by Electricity Company Ghana Ltd (ECG) and Ghana Water Company Ltd(GWCL) and other players in the industry.
The ECG is demanding 148% increase in tariffs with an average increment of 7.6% in tariffs over the next four years to cover Distribution Service Charges(DSC).
The proposal submitted to PURC wants the adjustment to cover the period 2019 to 2022.
The GWCL leads in the tariff proposal with 334 percent increase for 2022, then ECG and NEDCo with tariff proposals of 148 percent and 113 percent respectively. GRIDCo projected 48 percent (48%) rise for the year while the VRA proposed 37 percent increment (37%). The utility service providers said the proposals were to enable them to recoup their investment, expand and complete projects as well as provide quality services to customers. They reiterate that the proposed increment in tariffs was due to the increase in operational cost, exchange rate, cedi depreciation and inflation.
The tariff increment has not been fully cost-effective according to consumers and this has generated widespread conversation, with many Ghanaians expressing their disapproval of these proposals in view of the current economic hardship due to the increase in fuel prices and other related activities, leading to the general increase in goods and services.
In another development consumers later call on the service providers to improve on service delivery, and address challenges before proposing the upward adjustment in tariffs.
Dr Ishmael Ackah, Executive Secretary of the PURC, said the commission had a mandate of ‘balancing interests’, and would be fair to both consumers and the utility providers. He said the tariff review was to ensure that there were viability and efficiency in the utilities, ensuring that consumers really enjoyed value for money
Dr Ackah said it was, for this reason, that the regulator invited the public to make contributions for a consented tariff for the year and hoped by July this year the tariffs will be out.
Story by: Johnson Abiwu-Gleme