The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has opened its seventh regional office in Sunyani, capital of the Bono region which is also expected to serve Ahafo and the Bono East regions.
This forms part of the corporate policy of PURC to get closer to consumers and utility providers; and offer swift and effective services to the public.
The new regional office will also monitor the activities and services of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) and the Ghana Water Company Limited at their various District and Areas offices to ensure that they provide high-quality services to their consumers.
Until the opening of the office in Sunyani, the Ashanti regional office of the commission was in charge of the then Brong Ahafo region, which is now made up three regions namely; Bono, Bono East, and the Ahafo.
PURC was set up as a multi-sectorial regulator by the Government of Ghana in October 1997 under the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538) as part of the utility sector reform to regulate the provision of utility services in the electricity and water sectors.
By virtue of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541) PURC also has regulatory responsibility overcharges for transportation of natural gas services.
Inaugurating the Sunyani office, the Director for Regional Operations at the PURC, Alhaji Abukari Jabaru said the new office will be responsible for handling consumer complaints, adding that “seeking redress for unresolved complaints made to utility providers will now be a thing of the past.”
He gave the assurance that the Commission’s staff would be ever ready to welcome concerns and grievances of consumers and make conscious efforts at resolving them amicably and also at no cost to the complainant.
“The Commission’s able staff would gladly listen to your issues brought before them and resolve your electricity and water complaints together with the utilities amicably and free of charge”, he stated.
Alhaji Jabaru also announced plans by the PURC to undertake public education campaigns to sensitize members of the public about their right and responsibilities with regards to the provision of electricity and water as well as the other services of the commission.
According to him, “this will enable consumers to demand the right services from the utilities and also understand the need for consumers to pay their bills promptly.”
The Executive Secretary of PURC, Mrs. Mami Dufie Ofori assured the public of the Commission’s resolve and commitment to always put the interest of the consumer at heart in the discharge of their duties.
She called on the public to develop a good relationship with the staff of the commission and also have faith in them because they are there to serve their interest.
The Sunyani Municipal Co-ordinating Director, Mr. Samuel Gyimah noted that it was heart-warming to have a PURC office in Sunyani, adding that this would give consumers easy access to their services.