About 10 households and businesses in the Upper West Akim District of the Eastern Region on Wednesday had their “fake” meters removed by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Undertaken by the Accra West Regional Office of the ECG, the exercise followed tip offs and investigations by the office and would continue for the next two weeks.
Those involved were tapping power directly and not paying bills since the meters were installed and as such were given summons to report to their district ECG offices.
Addressing the media, Dr Mark Owusu Ansah, Regional Revenue Protection Manager, Accra West Regional Office, ECG, explained that the meters were sourced from illegal syndicates and impersonators.
On the meters, he said were written “Ministry of Power” and the “Ministry of Energy” which should not be the case.
“Our investigations saw this type of meters with Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Power about three months ago. So as a Regional Revenue Protection Manager, I got close to look for what type of meter because we don’t have this type of metre in our system,” he stated.
“These meters have a heavy glass with an empty case. Within it is a bar that connects the output and input terminal directly. So, in effect, whoever uses this metre is the same as whoever takes power directly and uses it for free,” he added.
Dr Ansah said they would reach the syndicates and urged the public to desist from dealing with middlemen who sold fake meters, and visit their district or regional offices for any kind of enquiry for the right information to be conveyed.
“It is only the ECG that every customer can get a metre from so if you engage anybody privately in your home to get a metre you will find yourself wanting. The moratorium period is over. When we get you, you have to face the law,” he said.
Dr Ansah said the company was losing about 30 per cent of energy as a result of such activities but could not quantify in monetary terms.
“But we will investigate it for how long it had been with them. Let’s say somebody has to use two kilowatt per hour and the metre had been with him for maybe three years, 36 months, you multiply that by 36 months,” he stated.
“The value of the punishment for those who are doing this varies depending on the load that person is having and the duration he has used it. So we have summoned them. From here, they will report to the office. Investigations will go on to ascertain what we have lost and penalise them,” he added.
Mr Fred Baimbill-Johnson, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Accra West Regional Office, ECG, said the two weeks campaign the office was undertaking were in 12 areas including Daaman, Sakyikrom, Amoakrom, Duadekye, Ntoaso, Kofisah and Newton all in the Nsawam district.
The others, he said were Akwamu, Oparekrom, Nkyenenkyene, Amanfrom and Adeiso, adding that they would rid those areas off the fake meters to signal a warning to all and raise awareness on the need for the right procedures to be followed.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR, ADEISO