Energy think tank, Institute for Energy Security (IES), has charged Ghana’s southern electricity distribution company, ECG, to take immediate steps to resolve what it described as widespread challenges being experienced by its pre-paid customers.
In a statement issued and copied to energynewsafrica.com on Monday, December 21, 2020, IES noted that the more a customer buys power to be used, the more the customer owes the ECG, resulting in many homes and workplaces being disconnected.
The statement wondered whether it is the case that these customers, who have pre-financed the use of electricity at a later time, are having their electricity credits being converted to debits.
“In many cases, these pre-paid customers are being slapped with outrageous bills for electricity not consumed. They are compelled to pay for these unwarranted bills before they can be credited with any new power purchases and have electricity supplied,” IES alleged.
At this point, it takes field technicians of the ECG to go to homes and other outlets to reset meters before power can be restored. Many a time, it takes hours and days to have customers attended to and power restored.
“These challenges are cropping up at a time when the need for reliable and consistent power supply is paramount. During this season, the need for power is vital for purposes of security, productivity, events and more importantly, the Christmas and New Year when families will stay at home.”
The IES called on the Minister for Energy to, as a matter of urgency, direct the ECG to fix these challenges which are greatly inconveniencing legitimate customers of the ECG.
Managing Director of ECG, Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu, reacting to the claims, admitted that the system is experiencing some communication challenges.
According to him, he personally experienced the same challenges when he purchased electricity credit.
In view of that, he said his outfit had informed the pre-paid meter vendor and is working to rectify the anomaly.
He urged consumers to exercise patience, saying the system would be restored to ensure that no-one is shortchanged.