The high cost of living, poor service delivery by utility service providers, and the current economic hardship dominated a public hearing on tariff review among consumers in the Ashanti Region.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) are demanding over a 100% increment in tariff to meet what they call operational cost.
While ECG is asking for an increment in tariffs by 148%, the GWCL also wants its tariffs to go up by 334%.
But customers in the Ashanti region are not enthused with the proposed tariff increment, citing current economic hardships that continue to push living conditions high.
“The utility service providers should wait for some time before they increase their tariffs. My concern as a consumer is that, things are not in order at the moment. For the type of service they are rendering, it is not even convincing enough”, one of the consumers said.
For another user, “There are people whose salaries with the utility service providers are more than the work they do. They don’t do any work, but they get high pay, so they can’t use all the monies to pay themselves and ask the public to bear the cost.
Already, the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has assured consumers that it will not grant some of the demands made by utility providers.
PURC is currently meeting all stakeholders across the country before announcing new tariffs.
Chairman of the Technical Committee of the PURC, Ishmael Edjekumhene said “PURC is considering the proposals presented by the utility providers, after which we will make a decision.”
“What I am certain of is no way will consumers be made to bear the outrageous cost.”
The Electricity Company of Ghana had proposed that its tariffs be increased by 148% for 2022 and with 7.6% average adjustments between the periods of 2023 to 2026.
The proposed sharp increment, according to the ECG, is due to the gap between the actual cost recovery tariff and PURC-approved tariffs as well as the cost of completed projects.
The GWCL also argued that while the average tariff per cubic metre in 2019 was 1.27 USD, the same was reduced to USD 1.13 as a result of cedi depreciation.
The GWCL said this has affected its ability to carry out repairs and replacements of aged and obsolete equipment and pipelines.