The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has ordered the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to pay compensation to its customers affected by its prepayment system across the country from September to early October, this year.
This follows the failure in ECG Prepayment vending System at Volta, Takoradi, Tema, Cape Coast, Kasoa, Winneba, Swedru, Koforidua, Nkawkaw andTafo among other locations.
To demonstrate good customer service, the commission has asked ECG to pay lifeline customers GH¢15, residential customers with 10 penalty units equivalent GH¢120; non-residential customers with 20penalty units equivalent GH¢240; commercial customers with 40penalty units equivalent GH¢480 and industrial customers with 100 penalty units equivalent GH¢1,200.
Dr Ishmael Ackah in a statement issued and signed and copied to Ghanaian Times in Accra on Tuesday said the ECG would pay the compensation in the form of a one-time electricity credit from last Saturday to Friday October 7, 2022 with the compensation clearly indicated on customer receipts.
“ECG shall issue widespread notifications to inform customers of the compensation due to them and shall maintain accurate records of measures taken to comply with this order including the number of temporary staff engaged (if any), for purposes of regulatory monitoring,” he stated.
“This order is without prejudice to any additional directives the Commission may issue with respect to the incident,” he added.
Dr Ackah noted that the order was issued under sections 11 and 12 (1) and (2) of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538); and regulations 41 and 45 of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (Consumer Service) Regulations, 2020 (L12413).
He said that the law imposed a duty on public utilities to provide safe, adequate, efficient, reasonable and non-discriminatory service.
“The law also mandates the Commission to impose compensation orders among other penalties on public utilities for failure to comply with their legal obligations,” he said.
Dr Ackah said it was for that reason the commission in consideration of the inconvenience occasioned by the failures with the ECG prepayment meter system determined that ECG would pay compensation to all its affected customers.
The Executive Secretary of the PURC said that the ECG would additionally adopt immediate measures to increase staff output and responsiveness to customers.
Dr Ackah said ECG would extend the working hours at all affected locations to 8pm,
engage temporary staff to ensure that affected customers were speedily attended to and were credited with the approved compensation by October 7, 2022.
“Final resolution of the vending failure as soon as possible with minimum further inconvenience to consumers,” he added.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR