The Central Regional office of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has resolved 1, 092 out of 1,103 complaints it received from January to September this year, which represent 98.46 per cent.
The complaints were made against the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), as well as customers of the utility providers.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of a regional utility dialogue at Cape Coast, the Central Regional Manager of PURC, Ms Kesewaa Apenteng-Addo, explained that the PURC was committed to ensuring the provision of quality service by utility providers, as well as the honouring of required obligations by consumers.
The dialogue was on the theme: “Quality Utility Service Delivery: A shared responsibility between the utility service providers and consumers.”
It sought to address issues surrounding quality service and strengthen consumer-utility confidence.
Giving a breakdown of the complaints, Ms Apenteng-Addo indicated that 772 representing 69.99 per cent was against ECG, 250 representing 22. 66 per cent for the GWCL and 81 which represents 7.34 percent was linked to consumers.
She explained that the complaints received during the period included billing, payment, quality of service, metering and disconnection.
Majority of the complaints, she said, was on the quality of service, saying, “Most of the complaints were received through the WhatsApp and Written platforms.”
Ms Apenteng-Addo further said customers who were wrongfully billed had an adjustment that reflected their actual consumption pattern.
Through the intervention of the PURC, she indicated that the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) retrieved GH₵35,510 from customers who were indebted to the company.
In her address earlier, Ms Apenteng-Addo indicated that the PURC, as part of its activities during the past three quarters, interacted with both consumers and utility companies and observed some pertinent issues in the delivery and consumption of quality utility service.
The issues identified, she explained, centred on disregard by some consumers to pay their bills, poor utility service delivered to consumers and lack of cooperation on the part of consumers to help the utility companies serve them better.
Additionally, she mentioned encroachment on utility corridors as a major factor affecting quality utility supply.
She also stated that there was inadequate information on the operations of the service providers that created some form of misconception on the part of consumers.
Ms Apenteng-Addo also commented on theft and tampering of utility installations by consumers and said the situation affected the provision of quality service.
The PURC, she said, would work towards protecting the interest of consumers and utility providers.
In a presentation, the Regional Complaints Officer of PURC, Ms. Joyceline Hudson, noted that burning of bushes very close to utility poles had been a major cause of interruption in the provision of utility services.
“As a regulator, we want the utilities to provide good and quality services to consumers,” she stated.
She, therefore, appealed to consumers to pay their bills promptly, stop illegal connections and also put an end to the tampering, interfering, and damaging of utility installations.
Participants at the dialogue commended the PURC for creating the required platform for consumers and utility providers to discuss ways of collaborating effectively in ensuring the provision of quality services.
FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, CAPE COAST