The Public Utilities and Regulator Commission (PURC) says it will take into account the interest of all stakeholders before making a final determination on the new tariffs for utilities in the country.
Ali Simon Jarana, the Head of Public Relations and External Affairs of PURC, said on Eyewitness News that besides consumers, it will consider the interest of the investor community as well as the interest of the utility companies before announcing the new tariffs.
“PURC will weigh the concerns of the consuming public and other stakeholders. We’ll consider the interest of the consuming public as well as the investor community, and also protect the interest of the utility company by making sure that it is financially viable. We will also look at our regulatory benchmark including the allowable losses and all these are put together, so it isn’t just an academic exercise,” he said.
The PURC has up to July 2022 to announce new utility tariffs.
The Electricity Company of Ghana has proposed that its tariffs be increased by 148% for 2022 and with 7.6% average adjustments between the periods of 2023 to 2026.
Similarly, the Ghana Water Company is also proposing an increment in its tariffs by over 300% to be able to at least recover its operational cost.
The proposals are already generating huge public discussions, with majority of the public kicking against the request.
The PURC is expected to hold broad consultations with all stakeholders, including Members of Parliament, on the proposals and make a final announcement on the agreed percentage increase it will allow.
Ali Simon Jarana said “there is a clear process that PURC is mandated by law to undertake in the determination of the final tariff” and it will follow that.
He noted that utility companies may be compelled to go back and reorganize their proposals in the course of the consultations if it is found that there are some elements that need to be corrected.
“PURC is mandated by law to give regulatory orders. If the commission realizes that any of the utility service providers have to go back and resubmit a new proposal, that must be done. This is not their first proposal. They brought one earlier, and they were asked to back and represent a new proposal [which is the current one]. The PURC is forced to announce new tariffs latest first week of July,” he said.