Officials from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in the Tema region and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) are currently engaging various stakeholders in the Krobo region, in particular Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo to resolve a deadlock problem that has blocked the work of electricity producers in the region.
Over the past few days, the two groups have met with traditional leaders, religious organizations, youth groups and various civil society organizations on steps taken to resolve customer complaints that have led to unrest which has seen a series of protests, demonstrations and clashes with the police. , causing several injuries including one dead.
Grievances regarding estimated billing, unjustified accumulated bills, overbilling, lack of meter reading and bill distribution card (yellow) by electricity consumers since 2014 led to a demonstration in Somanya against the Company. Electricity of Ghana (ECG), resulting in damage to the ECG District Office in the region.
Another claim is that there is an existing agreement between Kronos and the Nkrumah regime exempting Krobos from paying for electricity over claims that part of the land on which the Akosombo dam is located belongs to the Krobo region. .
The forum included a PowerPoint presentation of the steps taken by power producers to end the raging problem.
According to the presentation, ECG had held prior commitments since 2017 with various stakeholders as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the problem.
These included a joint communique from the ECG leadership and the land chiefs of Krobo as well as meetings with assembly members and heads of unit committees in the municipal assemblies of Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo.
Kofi Afewu’s investigative committee formed by ECG management to investigate grievances found evidence of estimated billing, unjustified accumulated bills, overbilling, non-meter reading and bill distribution card (yellow).
The causes of the problems were attributed to most of the meters installed during the SHEP project in 2012/2013 not going through the ECG and therefore it took a long time to identify, map, code and invoice the customers, hence estimates and build-up and also software challenges in 2016 when migrating the billing system from CBIS to CMS.
To implement the findings, the ECG agreed to keep commitments with stakeholders, organize refresher training programs for its staff, ensure continuous data cleansing exercises, replace faulty meters and hire more meter readers.
The company has also agreed to restrict the debt of affected customers between 2014 and December 2017 to conduct more in-depth investigations into the anomalies.
The Managing Director of ECG, Tema region, Mr. Emmanuel Tetteh Akinie, said in an interview that the stalemate has affected revenue collection in the region and urged electricity consumers to pay their bills, especially from 2018 to date.
“Either way, the bills have to be paid, and everyone pays the bills. From 2018, for now, going forward, we’re saying everyone has to pay their bills to ensure development because right now all we get is what we channel into developments and the more we do. receive, the more we can develop, ”Akinie said.
He described the engagement with stakeholders as “positive” and expressed his gratitude to all for their commitment to ensure a lasting solution to the problem.
Deployment of prepaid meters
The ECG further explained that in line with its metering policy and in line with current advancements in metering technology, it will replace all existing meters in Krobo District with prepaid smart meters before the end of 2021.
All new separate meter services and connections, according to the company, will be installed with prepaid meters.
He added that extensive customer engagement and training will be conducted prior to the start of prepaid meter deployments in Krobo District.