The Revenue Protection Unit of the Accra East Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana last year retrieved an amount of GH¢9,439,996.01 from people who engaged in illegal connection of power to their premises.
The money represents a 53 per cent increase over the 2018 figure of GH¢6,168,151.45.
The Manager of the Revenue Protection Unit of the Accra East Region, Mr Jonathan Asante, who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said customers caught engaging in illegal connection to the grid included some major hotels, manufacturing companies, restaurants on the Osu Oxford Street, cold stores, pubs and other notable individuals.
The districts where the illegal connections were recorded in the Accra East Region are Makola, Legon, Roman Ridge, Teshie, Kwabenya, Dodowa and Mampong.
The region, he said, detected and mainstreamed 4.11 gigawatts (GWh) of energy which the company would have lost in 2019, and that the energy recovered in gigawatts represents a significant leap in the revenue fortunes of the company.
“The units retrieved in 2019 represent payments made to the company by defaulters which amounted to the sum of GH¢9,439,996.01 million and reflected a percentage increase of 53 from the 2018 figure of GH¢6,168,151.45 million,” he said.
The progress made, he said, was as a result of the establishment of the special commercial wing to complement efforts of the Revenue Protection Unit, adding that in the year under review, the technical and commercial sections of the unit intensified activities in the region by visiting the premises of 26,952 residential and non-residential customers.
The Revenue Protection manager added that out of the number of customers visited, 906 were surcharged for illegal power connection on their premises, which had deprived the company of the needed revenue.
The Coordinator of the Revenue Protection Unit of the Accra East Region, Mr Osumanu Ibrahim, said the entities were caught during routine checks on the nature of their electricity connections and the integrity of their meters.
He observed that illegal connections contributed to the financial challenges facing the company.
“The Electricity Company of Ghana continues to incur losses from meter tampering, by-passes, unauthorised service connections, self-reconnection, among others,” he added.
Mr Ibrahim emphasised that the day and night monitoring of customers premises would be sustained and continuously intensified to ensure that residents and institutions adhere to the laid down regulations.
For his part, the Accra East Region General Manager, Ing. Seth Dekpor, said the region had made important strides by aggressively increasing the penetration of smart prepaid meters and was continuously working on reducing losses to improve the company’s revenue mobilisation drive.
He indicated that the ECG was backed by a Legislative Instrument to prosecute any person involved in illegality.
He noted that the managing director of the company had launched a campaign to clamp down on illegal connection activities and urged the public to cooperate with the company in its effort to address the issue by reporting anyone engaged in such acts.
Ing. Dekpor also revealed that among the many strategies slated for this year, the region had adopted an approach it called “visibility and customer engagement” which was meant to bring all aspects of the company’s services within arm’s reach of customers.
The strategy, he said, would make it easier for customers to report illegalities and get their concerns addressed.