Poor utility services: PURC bags GH¢5.7 m compensation for customers …amount recovered from utility coys

A total of GH¢5.7 million was collected from the utility service providers by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and paid as compensation to consumers last year.

The Director of Regional Operations, PURC, AlhajiAbukariJabaru, said this was as a result of over-billing and damage caused by the utilities to consumers’ appliances.

The Commission, he said, also recovered GH¢548, 383last year as revenue for   utilities from outstanding bills owed by consumers.

AlhajiJabaru saidthis at a capacity building workshop organisedin Accra last Saturday under the Commission’s media fellowshipprogramme.

For consumers’ compensation, he said the Ashanti Region had GH¢207, 513.98; Eastern GH¢16, 008.28; Central GH¢3, 455.63; Western GH¢128, 655.26; and the VoltaGH¢4, 462.89.

Besides, he said, the Greater Accra had GH¢5,154,232.37; Northern GH¢164, 076.59; Upper West GH¢52, 670.20; Bono Region GH¢47, 304.

Concerning the revenue recovery for utilities, the director of the PURC’s regional operations said for example that GH¢35, 510was retrieved from the Central Region and GH¢512, 383 from Bono.

Alhaji Jabaru said prudent complaintinvestigations by the Commission impacted positively on the finances of complaints through credit sales adjustment and on utilities’ revenue through recovery.

Speaking on the trend analysis of complaint lodged and resolved from 2016 to 2021, he said there was  a decrease in the number of complaints lodged from 3,202 in 2016 to 2,713in 2017, representing 15.27 per cent decrease.

Meanwhile, he said this increased to5,226 in 2018, representing a 92.63 per cent increase.

He said the complaints again increased to 9,550 in 2019 by 82.74 per cent and that was as a result of an innovation introduced by the Commission which allowed complaintsto present their cases via WhatsApp.

Alhaji Jabaru stated that there was a decrease in complaints lodged from 9,550 in 2019 to 7,067 in 2020 representing a decrease of 26 per cent.

“This was mainly due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 and it is related to the lockdown of the country as well as restrictions on movement,” he added.

He said in 2021, complaints lodged with the Commission increased to 10,987 from 7,067 in 2020, representing an increase of 55.47 per cent.

Alhaji Jabaru noted that the increase was as a result of the increase in the number of regional offices of the commission besides the increase in the WhatsApp platforms.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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