The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on Monday held a joint consultative meeting with utility service providers and stakeholders in Accra to collate views on the proposed tariffs submitted to it by the various providers for their operations in the next two years.
The 2018 Major Tariff Review has already commenced by way of soliciting inputs from all stakeholders of the Commission and the public.
The Commission has subsequently received proposals from the Utility Companies: Volta River Authority (VRA); Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo); Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG); Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo); Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL); Enclave Power Company (EPC), Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication, including the Government of Ghana.
Analysis of the received proposals is ongoing.
Speaking at the meeting, Mrs Mami Dufie Ofori, the Executive Secretary PURC, said the review was in line with the Commissions Act, which empowers it to initiate the process for the examination and approval of electricity and water tariffs for 2018.
She said the PURC was providing a platform to listen to the views of all stakeholders, including the utility service providers before taking a decision on the tariff.
The meeting is also to address issues of quality of service being rendered to consumers.
Already, government a major stakeholder, has given indication that it was seeking at least a 13 per cent reduction in tariff.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta in his presentation of the 2018 budget indicated that tariffs would go down by 13 per cent on the average for industrial users of power in line with government’s plans to reduce the cost of doing business.
Mr Ishmael Adjemkuhene, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the PURC, said the consultative meetings were to reinforce the goal of tariff as a tool for development.
He said the PURC would consider all the proposals to enable it to strike a deliberate balance between the challenges being faced by the utility service providers and the consumers.
In its presentation, the Electricity Company of Ghana, which is seeking 36 pesewas per kilowatt/hours from 22 pesewas, said an increase was necessary to enable it to meet its obligations to the generators of electricity.
Mr. Ebenezer Baiden, General Manager for Regulatory and Governmental Affairs, said an increased tariff would help meet operations cost, private power producers cost, fuel cost and other expenses.
On its part, the Ghana Water Company is seeking an increased tariff to enable it to expand coverage by making an annual investment of $400 million to be able to close the supply and demand gaps.
The increase tariff if granted would also ensure the support for equipment and replacement of pumps and motors.
The Ghana Grid Company is seeking an increase in its transmission charge from 5 pesewas to 6 pesewas per Kilowatt hours to enable it to meet its fixed cost as well as the variable cost.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Trades Union Congress said while it knew the importance of the tariff review, the PURC must ensure that it considered the proposals based on affordability and prudent cost.
Mr Kwabena Otoo, the GTUC representative, said the Congress was expecting at the conclusion of the review exercise, a 20 per cent reduction in tariff.
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