Following complaints by electricity consumers about faulty meters, the Ministry of Power yesterday inaugurated a task force to conduct an audit on the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG) meters.
The task force, made up of officials of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), the Energy Commission (EC), the Ministry of Power and ECG, are to run test on some of the meters to establish the veracity or otherwise of the concerns of the consumers.
Task force mandate
Inaugurating the task force, the Deputy Minister of Power, Mr John Jinapor, asked the members to run parallel meter checks to evaluate the integrity of the meters and submit their reports to the ministry within one month.
He also tasked them to check the software used by ECG in their billing system and also urged the public to collaborate with the officials as they moved round to conduct the audit.
Several consumers are said to have been paying above the 59.2 per cent increment, which took effect in December 2015.
Unable to contain their frustrations, some consumers have had to storm offices of ECG to vent their spleen on its officials.
The PURC decided to penalise the ECG for its failure to replace faulty meters for many of its customers nationwide.
Mr Jinapor gave an assurance that customers whose units of power were taken wrongfully would be restored to them.
“No load-shedding management”
With regard to the current power situation, Mr Jinapor refuted claims that a load-shedding management system was being implemented as a result of shortfall in power supply.
There have been power outages in parts of Accra and Kumasi in the past few days, giving rise to speculations by some sections of the public that the nation may be returning to the power crisis period, otherwise referred to as dumsor.
“Load shedding cannot just be declared because there are challenges; we need to monitor and follow the trend for some time before that decision is made.
“Moreover the Chief Executive of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) is supposed to make a formal announcement with his signature appended on a formal press statement,” he explained.
While asking the public to remain calm, Mr Jinapor indicated that officials in the industry were monitoring the situation and at the appropriate time any information for the public would be announced.
Although he admitted that there were some challenges, he said steps were being taken to ensure that the generation was not negatively affected.
“No gas from Nigeria”
Elaborating on the challenges, Mr Jinapor said switching back some of the thermal plants at Aboadze from light crude oil to gas, as a result of the FPSO restoration, was a process which required that some plants were shut down for the conversion process.
He said there was virtually no supply of gas from Nigeria to feed the Tema power enclave due to the strike over fuel hikes in Nigeria.
Nonetheless, he said Nigerian Gas (N-Gas) had given an assurance that immediately the strike was over, gas supply would be restored.
Before the strike, Ghana was getting less than 20 million scf from N-Gas instead of the 120 million scf.
To keep generation up, he said adequate light crude oil had been purchased to fire all the thermal plants in Tema and Takoradi.