The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has ordered the Electricity Company of Ghana to “suspend the implementation of their new billing software until further notice.”
According to a statement from the PURC, the directive has been “necessitated by Complaints which it has received from consumers of Electricity regarding issues of overbilling.”
“The Commission after a thorough investigation into the matter through our Monitoring Exercise which culminated into visits to specific areas and also interrogation of bills which were presented to consumers by the Electricity Company of Ghana, came to the conclusion that there was an anomaly in the initial implementation of the new billing software,” the statement signed by Nana Yaa Jantuah, director of Public Relations and External Affairs of PURC said.
The PURC said their investigations revealed that “ECG is billing customers over irregular periods from 18 days – 43 days which is in contravention of the 28-day billing cycle for the customer.”
“ECG is billing customers who have been disconnected over a period of six months with the accumulated debt figure instead of their monthly actual consumption.
“More than 62% of complaints received by the PURC in the first quarter of 2016 were on overbilling as compared to the previous year (18%). Customer Billing Data shows clearly that the ECG has challenges with migrating customer information from the old Billing System to the new Billing System (Software),” the statement added.
“The PURC is however ordering the ECG with immediate effect to put in the following measures to alleviate the plight of Customers who have been slapped with high bills because of the implementation of the New Billing Software:
“An independent billing software expert should be appointed to audit the new billing system currently being rolled out and present a report to the Commission within 10 working days.
“Any customer who has been wrongfully billed and disconnected must be reconnected. ECG should correct all billing anomalities and rebill all consumers who have been affected.”