January 18, 2023

Consumer Protection Agency Opposes Utility Tariffs

The Consumer Protection Agency Ghana has opposed the 29.96% and 8.3% increments in electricity and water tariffs respectively by the Public Utilities Regulation Commission (PURC).

In a press statement, the Agency highlighted some concerns with the current increments including timing.

The PURC on Monday announced an increase in tariff which will take effect on February 1, 2023, for the first quarter of the year.

It said the rates were considered after a projection of the weighted average Ghana Cedi/US Dollar exchange rate at GhS 10.5421/USD; inflation rate at 42.63%; and Average cost of gas at USD 6.0952.

It noted, “the quarterly Tariff Review Mechanism seeks to track and incorporate changes in key factors used in determining natural gas, electricity and water tariffs. The objective is to maintain the real value cost of supply of these utility services and ensure that utility companies do not under- or over- recover.

“Undercover has negative implications for the ability of the companies to supply service to consumers and has the potential of causing outages of electricity (DUMSOR) and water supply. Over recovery unnecessary overburdens consumers of electricity and water.”

Reckoning the quarterly review as constitutional, the Executive Director for Consumer Protection Agency, Nana Prempeh Okogyeabour Aduhene decried the timing as wrong and the rate as high.

In an interview with Opemsuo radio’s Nkwantanaso show host, he said PURC failed to convene a stakeholder meeting for the new quarterly rate.


“We are on the PURC committee but we were not consulted. This should have been implemented in November but the percentages weren’t this high. When we last met, we agreed on an 18% increment but 29% is very high.”

He continued, “December was a very difficult month. A lot of workers and companies lost their capital. This (tariff increment) comes at a time when the insurance commission has brought a 43% increase in insurance premiums, parents have to pay school fees and several other expenses within this first and second month of the year. This will over-burden consumers”.

 

In their press release statement dated January 17, he pointed out that the concerns of consumers remain after implementing the last adjustment in August 2022.

Some of which the Agency listed as price discrimination, unreliable power and water supply, water wastage and pipe burst as well as power theft.


He said the Agency will engage the PURC for possible reform.

 

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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