The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has entreated customers to conserve energy and invariably spend less on electricity as the upward adjustment of utility tariffs takes effect on February 1.
According to the utility company, it has catalogued all unit consumption and the expected cost in a “reckoner” which clearly explains how the tariff is applied and billed. It reminded customers and stakeholders that the “upward review of electricity tariff for the first quarter will be implemented with effect from Wednesday, 1st February 2023, as announced by the PURC on 26th January, 2023”.
“We take this opportunity to advise customers to conserve energy and spend less on electricity.”
Electricity Company of Ghana
Consequently, the ECG noted that individual customers’ tariff percentage increase will depend on customer classification and consumption category. By this, it explained that the Reckoner will be displayed at all district and customer service centers nationwide to guide customers on their electricity purchases.
“ECG, by this announcement, assures our customers and stakeholders of commitment to ensuring a smooth implementation of the new tariff.”
Electricity Company of Ghana
Meanwhile, ECG has established customer help desks in all its districts and customer service centers to assist, explain and reconcile any challenge.
This statement from the ECG followed the Public Utility Regulatory Commission’s announcement of an upward adjustment in utility tariffs. While the end-user tariff for electricity has been increased by 29.96 percent, that of water has also seen an upward adjustment by 8.3 percent following the conclusion of the PURC’s regulatory processes for quarterly adjustments.
For the end-user electricity tariffs payable by consumers, the Commission considered four key factors in arriving at its decision. These were the Ghana Cedi/US Dollar exchange rate, inflation, generation mix and the weighted average cost of natural gas.
The Commission used a projected inflation rate of 42.63% in its tariff analysis for the First Quarter of 2023.
Reactions to increment in utility tariffs
Reacting to the increment, the Institute of Energy Security (IES), described as baseless factors accounting for the recent notice by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission for an increase in utility tariffs. It indicated that the assumption amounts to giving priority to thermal power generation over hydro, given that water elevation for Bui and Akosombo generating stations (GS) have improved waterhead levels, and capable of producing over 35% of power in 2023, in IES’ estimation is wrong.
IES therefore called on the PURC to reconsider the energy mix assumption used in the tariff adjustment to reflect improved water-head levels as that has an impact on the Weighted Average Cost of Gas, which has been reviewed to $6.0952/MMBtu from $5.9060MMBtu. This, it reckoned, will bring some relief to already burdened citizens, and in the face of the current economic crisis.
Following the announcement of the increment by the PURC, various stakeholders registered their displeasure with the situation. The Minority in Parliament for instance, questioned the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s methodology for the recent tariff adjustments.
The Caucus is of the view that, PURC used wrong computations in its calculations. In a press statement issued and signed by the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor, the NDC MPs said they oppose the increments.
The minority believed that the Commission is using an unorthodox method to help the government meet its IMF conditionalities in the energy sector and assured Ghanaians that it will resist the increment fiercely to ensure consumers are protected.
It insisted that it is confident of hydro generating not less than 35% based on the Energy Commission’s projections. As such, it rejects the 26% Hydro mix used in computing the recent tariff adjustments.