Monday, April 15, 2024

Minority threatens to haul PURC before Parliament over new ECG charges

The Minority in Parliament says it will do everything within its power to get the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and the  Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to indefinitely suspend the implementation of its reviewed service charges.

The Minority says the new charges can only be implemented after broader consultations with relevant stakeholders.

ECG in a recent publication announced new connection charges beginning February 1, 2022. The power distribution company noted that the cost of a single-phase meter which was GH¢400, will now be ¢1,020.

Also, new consumers interested in a three-phase meter will pay GH¢1,920 instead of the previous GH¢700.

Speaking to the media, the Minority spokesperson on Mines and Energy, John Jinapor, said if the caution fails, they will summon management of PURC and ECG before Parliament.

“What we just realized is a clandestine, serendipitous and a nefarious way of adjusting these charges without recourse to due process within the electricity sub-sector. So what the Minority is calling on the PURC to do is to with immediate effect suspend these price hikes and resort to due process and ensure that the right thing is done.”

“Failure to do so, the Minority side of the Mines and Energy Committee shall use whatever legitimate parliamentary processes to ensure that the PURC is hauled before Parliament. In as much as the PURC has some legitimate powers in determining the fees, charges and tariffs, it cannot do that in a whimsical and capricious manner [and] without recourse to the law, so we are calling for immediate suspension of the hikes we see. They are so astronomical that it defies logic.”

The Minority in Parliament has asked the ECG to without delay cease what it calls illegal utility charges.

The group says these charges, though unlawful, are also high, thereby overburdening consumers.

In a statement, the Minority demanded a reversal of these fresh charges by the utility service provider, advising it to use appropriate channels to adjust service charges if need be.

“The Minority in Parliament has noted with grave concern, some steep and astronomical increases in service and other related charges within the Electricity sector averaging at almost 100%. We, therefore, call for the immediate suspension of these price increments to allow for better consultation and also ensure that due process is adhered to in this regard”, the Minority’s statement signed by the Ranking Member of Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, John Abdulai Jinapor noted.

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