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‘Faults cause of soaring bills’

Technical challenges encountered by state power distributor Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are to blame for the recent spate of overbilling of some customers, Mr Ernest Asare, the Executive Director of the Energy Foundation has said.

Numerous ECG customers across the country have complained of having to shell out much more for electricity consumption than the 59.2 per cent tariff increase by the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC).

The ECG had admitted in January that though the new rates for electricity had taken effect, some technical errors on its part had led to overbilling of some clients, an error it was working to undo.

But the complaints from customers have resurged, and Mr Asare, in his interview with Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5fm’s morning show Ghana Yensom, said most of the current challenges were due to technical problems the ECG was grappling with, which he said the company was “working on”.

However, he said, beyond that many consumers were using energy inefficient equipment in their homes and offices, which were inflating the bill. He mentioned, in particular, the use of used refrigerators and second-hand air conditioners, which he said often consumed more electricity than they would if they were new. According to him, despite recent legislation banning the importation of such appliances into Ghana, they still found their way into the country.

Mr Asare advised the public to go the extra mile and check the energy efficiency standard labels of electrical appliances before buying them.

The Energy Foundation boss also criticised the public and the government for ditching energy conservation after the country got out of its four-year power crisis. “When there is regular power supply, everyone’s attention, including government’s, drifts from conservation. It is when we are facing a crisis that people talk conservation. It must be something we pay attention to,” he said.

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