The Executive Secretary of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr. Ishmael Ackah, has reiterated the need for electricity consumers to pay for power consumed without relying on the government.
Speaking at a PURC-organized tariff education event for students of Takoradi Technical University, Dr. Ackah said that the introduction of new sources of power generation in Ghana, such as thermal and solar, in addition to hydropower, comes at a cost that must be paid for by consumers.
“Akosombo uses water, but we have to add technology to even the free water to generate electricity, and that technology is not free. We have to have people who will manage the technology and do maintenance as well, and all these are costs. Who should pay for these costs? The government? No. We use electricity, so we have to pay for it. Again, the cost of its transmission by GRIDCo and distribution by ECG must all be paid for by the consumer as part of the tariffs,” he emphasized.
Dr. Ackah also said that the PURC has identified an information gap among the citizenry, especially the youth, when it comes to electricity tariffs and the PURC’s work. This is a concern for the sector, and the PURC intends to address it.
“The PURC needs to do more in educating people. I realized that, though most of the students are aware that there is a PURC, some don’t even know what we do, apart from our role in tariff setting. So the quality monitoring, and others that we manage, they are not aware. Some of them are also confused about whether they have the right to tamper with their meter when they call ECG or Ghana Water, and they delay in coming. So this platform has offered us the chance to clear out some of these concerns. This year, for instance, our theme is looking at engagement, education, and enforcement,” he added.
The Executive Secretary of the PURC further justified the need for his outfit to frequently engage in stakeholder sensitization.
“We want to create a platform for students to engage us (PURC). Most of the time, they have a number of issues, but we engage at the macro level with the likes of TUC, AGI, and other major institutions, and we forget those here on University campuses. Normally, when you educate them about utility issues, and they understand when they go home, they are also able to talk to their parents and friends to help spread the news to others. So that is why we are here committed to such engagement,” he noted.