A cross-section of participants at the stakeholders’ meeting
The major utility firms in the country have called for a 200 percent increment in tariffs for 2018.
At a consultative meeting organized by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) yesterday in Accra, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) demanded an increment in its tariff from 22 pesewas to 36 pesewas per kilowatt, representing 64 percent increment.
The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDco) proposed an increment of GHC0.6755 per kilowatt per hour for 2018 to help meet its revenue requirement.
GRIDCo proposed an increment in tariff from 5.0 pesewas to 6.0 pesewas per kilowatt per house, with Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) also making demands for increases in its tariff for the year.
Chairman of the Technical Committee of PURC, Ishmael Egyekumhene, told the media that utility firms demanded a total of 200 percent increment in tariffs despite President Akufo-Addo’s promise of reducing electricity tariff by an average of 14 percent for non-residential consumers with effect from January 2018.
Mr Egyekumhene indicated that PURC shall undertake a careful assessment of the various demands before making a final decision, adding that the regulator is determined to ensure value for money without compromising service quality.
“All of them are asking for significant increases in the tariffs. That even makes our work more difficult because already the Executive [President] has actually gone ahead to announce some tariff reduction,” he said.
According to him, “So all of them are pointing upwards, they are asking for more money, but it’s our responsibility to start interrogating all the cost centres because at the end of the day, they have what they call, revenue requirements which goes into how much money they need to be able to run the systems.”
“We are looking critically at the cost right from generation to transmission and distribution. If we are only to base the analysis on exchange rate and inflation, there is every justification for the tariffs to go up,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana has opposed calls by the utility firms for increase in tariffs.
According to TUC, the service providers should rather consider reducing tariffs by 20 percent across board.
However, Member of Parliament (MP) for Damongo, Adam Mutawakilu, who is the ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy and National Democratic Congress (NDC), said ECG should be supported in its bid for 64 percent increase.
By Melvin Tarlue