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11 June 2016

ECG Overbilling: PURC’s Yaa Jantuah connects with angry consumers

Nana Yaa JantuahHe deals in bulbs and chandeliers. He has to keep them on to attract buyers to buy but irregularities in the electricity billing system means Roland, a business man in Accra will either have to put his bulbs off from time to time or risk paying an outrageously high prices for electricity- a situation that is gradually crumbling his business.

The story of Roland is one of many in Ghana, stories of normal softwares churning out abnormal figures and draining pockets of Ghanaians. The abnormalities in figures have led to misunderstanding between consumers and officials of the ECG on one hand, and between ECG officials and the PURC on the other.

On Ghana Connect, Friday, PURC’s head of Public Affairs Nana Yaa Jantuah came one-one-one with Joy FM’s Evans Mensah with scores of angry consumers connecting from home, offices sharing their stories of pain and what they claim to institutionalized robbery.

Roland said he used to pay ¢300 per month for electricity but that amount has ballooned to ¢1,200. Samuel had a similar problem. He previously paid ¢3,000 for electricity bills in the office but that amount has  shot up to ¢12,000.

According to him, officials of the ECG have become notorious for keeping his bills for months only to release them after about three months with exorbitant prices. He wants urgent action from the PURC.

Nana Yaa Jantuah admitted there is a problem with the software billing system which is churning out abnormal figures, a situation they have identified and communicated to the ECG to fix.

She also cited the bulk billing, challenges with the prepaid as some of the many problems consumers were facing.

Some consumers accused the PURC of defending government rather than the consumers but Yaa Jantuah insisted that the PURC has to keep a fine balance between supporting government and ensuring that the interest of consumers is met.

The PURC chief spokesperson asked consumers with problems to bring their complaints before the PURC for solution.

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