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22.10.2014 Feature Article

Ten Sins Of Ghana's E.C.G. That P.U.R.C. Should Check

Ten Sins Of Ghana's E.C.G. That P.U.R.C. Should Check
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Seeing its position as indispensable, in high demand, and having a monopoly in Ghana, the ECG customer relations almost border on sinfulness needing absolution so that the increasing demand for electricity in our cyber age will not suffer. They include:

1. The banding of tariffs to make consumers pay higher price the more they consume; something that should apply to products that are harmful to consumers and society, one of which electricity is not.

2. Pretending not to know that the increased tariff that businesses are forced to pay are passed on to the very ordinary Ghanaians through the product prices.

3. The combining of bills of consumers in a compound house through one meter so she will increase her revenue by making the low income families pay more unfairly.

4. The difficulty one suffers in acquiring extra meter dor a compound house even though she touts that the process is as simple and cheap as the declared official prices and process.

5. The concession giving the big companies to continue owing as they enjoy electricity supply but will not hesitate to disconnect ordinary consumer even if there is a dispute with their bills.

6. The back door payments/tips that some of her workers take from the big indebted companies to be excused from disconnection and continue enjoying electricity.

7. The factoring in of these debts into cost of operation in order to pass on to the ordinary Ghanian consumer to pay, declaring it beautifully as 'operational losses'.

8. The connivance of her officials in illegal connections which she describes as 'transmission losses' that are added to cost; this go as high as around thirty percent, according to their own reports.

9. Making a new applicant bear cost of extension (purchase and erection of electric poles and wiring) only to be taken over by ECG after 24 hours to supply others without any compensation to the first applicant!

10. Deceiving Ghanians that government has subsidized their bills by fifty units (always written on their bills as a reminder) whereas in reality it was never factored in the computation, with the excuse that it is meant for those who consume less than fifty units per month!

10b. Punishment meted to new official connections by her refusal to work on their bills and then lumping all the period together in order to shoot it into the high tariff band or turn round to accuse the consumer of accumulated unpaid consumption.

Considering this and the recent increase of her tariffs, one can perceive ECG's continuous attempt to exploit the ordinary Ghanaian at any given opportunity. This is because the Atuabo Gas Plant to reduce electricity cost is almost complete, the level of water in the Akosombo dam is in its usual annual peak period, the Dollar-Cedi exchange rate is decreasing, and crude oil price is recently falling to an all-time low since 2012.

With this package of windfalls ECG could have given Ghanaians some breathing space in tariff increases, but ECG appears to think about herself alone. Meanwhile ECG should consider ending the mesmerizing price banding and let consumers pay the uniform unit price as pertains in all situations everywhere.

Kwabena Ofori-Panin
Kwabena Ofori-Panin, © 2014

The author has 135 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwabenaOforiPanin

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