Ghana has one of the cheapest electricity tariffs in the West African sub region, the Director of Public Relations and External Affairs of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has said.
Nana Yaa Jantuah said that, irrespective of complaints by Ghanaian consumers that they are being burdened with hefty tariffs, the country’s tariff regime, as far as electricity is concerned, is among the “cheapest” in the sub-region.
“We have the lowest tariffs in the sub-region,” she insisted, adding that those who compare Ghana’s tariff regime to that of America, which has a very low tariff regime, are missing the point.
“America uses shale gas which is so cheap,” she said, adding America’s tariff regime is heavily tax-laden.
According to her, a nation’s tariff regime is dependent on the kind of sources of power generation used. Ghana depends on a mix of hydro and thermal power production. The Government has said repeatedly that more focus will be given to thermal production as hydro sources cannot shoulder the entire production burden.
The PURC recently approved a 59.2% hike in power tariffs. An intervention by the Government, after agitations by Organised Labour, led to the announcement of some respite for vulnerable users who fall within the 0 – 50 (lifeline) and 51 – 300 units band.
Again, she said, the daily electric power used by consumers across the country has reduced by a total of 300 megawatts since the introduction of the new utility tariffs.
In what has become known in the Twi vernacular as “mensor” and “woara be dum”, to wit consumers would voluntarily switch off, many electric power consumers since the introduction of the new tariffs have complained that bills of post-paid customers have sky-rocketed.
Those on prepaid have also complained that their credits have been running out too fast. As a result, many have resorted to conserving energy by turning off their appliances.