The Institute for Energy Security says a reduction in electricity tariffs can only be considered by the government if there are enough funds to cushion the revenue shortfall.
Groups and individuals including former President John Dramani Mahama have called for the scrapping or reduction in electricity tariffs in the period of the coronavirus.
But speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Security, Paa Kwesi Anamuah Sakyi said a thorough analysis of the request is important before a decision is made.
“As such a time, you only seek for relief for your citizens. Given that we are getting money from the private sector as well as the Stabilization Fund, if it is enough, then we can consider reducing the price of electricity as well to ensure that the citizens have some form of relief. We need to have this money available to fill the gap, either than that, the power sector will suffer in future. So it is a good call but we should be mindful of how to fill the gap. For us at IES, the reliable consistent power supply is more key than to have a reduced price of a commodity and not making it available and so we should consider that in the equation,” he said.
Demands for reduction of electricity tariffs
The government will take care of the water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June 2020 following an increase in the country’s coronavirus cases amidst a partial lockdown of the epicentres of the disease.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his fifth national address on Sunday, April 5, 2020, made the announcement as the government intensifies the fight against COVID-19 in Ghana.
Following this decision, many individuals and groups have asked the President to do same with electricity tariffs.
Former President John Dramani Mahama is one of those asking for subsidization of electricity tariffs amid the Coronavirus outbreak in Ghana.
Mr. Mahama in a statement suggested that “a subsidy payment from the Stabilization Fund to the ECG and other generating companies can provide some temporary relief, however small, to consumers in this difficult period.”
He, however, acknowledged that although government’s decision to provide relief from water tariffs is commendable, “the lack of water in many parts of the specified areas make the three-month cancellation of tariffs meaningless for some”.
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has also asked the President to consider a waiver on electricity bills as part of social interventions put in place to cushion Ghanaians against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.