The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Northern Electricity Company (NEDCo) have paid a total of GH¢1,297,118.17 to customers for the first six months of 2023 as compensation.
The amount paid by the three utilities comprised of GH¢1,299,118.17 in the form of adjustment for billing challenges while GH¢5,000 was paid as compensation for damages caused to customers between January and June 2023.
The ECG and NEDCo paid GH¢522,749.74 while GWCL paid GH¢769,368.43 as adjustment to customers as a result of billing challenges during the first six months of 2023.
In terms of compensation, ECG and NEDCo paid GH¢5,000 for damages to properties of electricity consumers, while GWCL made no payment in that regard.
On the other hand, the three utility service providers recouped a sum of GH¢621,742.65 in revenue from customers within the same period.
Speaking with the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday on the matter, Dr Abukari Jabaru, Director, Regional Operations, Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), said the situation called for “more diligence” on the part of the utilities.
He said: “The utility service providers must promptly respond and resolve the complaints of consumers, otherwise, if it accumulates, there will be excesses that you’ll pay as adjustment.”
“The staff of the utility service providers must also check if the people are owing to avoid billing them wrongly.” Dr Jabaru added.
Data provided by the Commission indicates that between January and June 2023, it has resolved a total of 6,613 complaints out of the reported 7,123 across the 10 administrative regions of PURC.
This implies that some 510 cases reported by customers of ECG, NEDCo and GWCL that were yet to be resolved.
A total of 3,546 complaints were filed against ECG in Eastern, Western Greater Accra, Central, Volta, and Ashanti of which 3,374 were resolved.
However, no case was filed against the water company for the first six months of 2023 in Northern, Upper West, Upper East, Bono regions.
In the case of NEDCo, 2,460 complaints were lodged by customers in Northern, Upper West, Upper East, Bono regions, with 2,300 resolved.
Customers of NEDCo in Eastern, Western Greater Accra, Central, Volta, and Ashanti regions lodged no complaint under the period of review.
For GWCL, 1,302 complaints were filed against them by customers in the 10 administrative regions of PURC, which 921 were resolved.
The Commission also resolved 18 out of the 85 complaints filed against customers by ECG, NEDCo and GWCL for the first six months of 2023.
Meanwhile, the Commission has held a day training for some journalists of its media fellowship programme in Accra to enhance their capabilities on reporting regulatory and policy issues.
Mr Emmanuel Fiati, Director, Water Services and Performance Monitoring, PURC, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, noted that the periodic exercise for journalists formed part of the regulatory body’s transparency, accountability, and good corporate governance efforts.
The journalists were trained on operations of PURC, including complaint and resolution systems, as well as the Commission’s applications – Energy Consumption Estimator and Reckoner.
These Apps are aimed at helping consumers understand and know their expected monthly bills and enable consumers to ascertain their consumption levels in monetary terms or volumes.