Power  theft through  illegal connection: ECG gets tough with customers …to begin meter audit from Monday

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) will from August 1 commence customers meter audit as part of measures to clamp down on illegal connection and power theft.

Managing Director of ECG, Samuel Dubik Mahama, said the exercise was necessary to stop loss of revenue as a result of power theft and illegal connection.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, he explained that, the exercise followed the expiry of the one-month amnesty for all customers engaged in illegal connection to report it for rectification or face sanctions when caught.

The amnesty took effect from June 7 and ended July 20 to allow for correction of the illegality and fight power losses.

Mr Mahama said about 116,000 households reported to the company illegal connections and faulty meters with more than 13,000 being faulty meters.

He indicated that the Customer Service Directorate of ECG would lead the meter audit exercise in collaboration with the company’s taskforce.

He noted that the meter audit would entail checks on the metre to ascertain whether it had been tampered with and assess it reading functionalities.

Mr Mahama added that the, checks would enable the power distribution company determine power delivered to a specific location and losses or revenue accrued within a specific period.

“This exercise is necessary for us to know the customers who are using our power without paying for it. We know that our losses as a company are not technical but rather commercial.

The meter is the property of the ECG and no one has the right to touch it. We get to know the quantity of power delivered to an area and the corresponding revenue or losses,” he added.

He asked all customers to cooperate with the taskforce involved in the exercise adding that “any customer who resists our checks will have their power disconnected by removing the service cable.”

Mr Mahama stated that, due to revenue losses of more than US$100 million caused by power theft, the ECG was in debt saying that the losses were not sustainable and would ultimately collapse the company.

For those yet to report any illegality or faulty connections on their meter, he asked them to take advantage of the current window and report to the ECG for a new meter and payment plan to settle arrears.

As part of the revenue mobilisation efforts, he said the Utility Court would from next week commence the prosecution of persons caught engaging in power theft.

 Additionally, the company, he noted, would employ a ‘Name and Shame’ policy to deter people from taking part in illegal connections.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS and MARYAM OMARU

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