The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has been ranked fourth in the 2022 Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI) for Africa.
The ERI measures the level of development of African electricity sector regulatory frameworks against international standards and best practices.
This was made known when the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank (WB) on the Global Electricity Regulatory Index (GERI) virtually launched the ERI report on Thursday.
A statement released by the commission and copied to the Ghanaian Times indicated that 43 with 44 regulatory institutions, participated in the assessment process, which was based on well-developed electricity regulatory frameworks, the capacity to exercise the necessary regulatory oversight and authority on the regulated entities, and the ability to achieve measurable outcomes.
It said these frameworks were categorised into three pillars: Regulatory GovernanceIndex (RGI),Regulatory Substance Index (RSI) and the Regulatory Outcome Index (ROI).
“The PURC was ranked fourth based on the significant progress made by the commission in the operations of its functions as per the legal mandate, clarity of roles of independence, accountability, transparency, predictability, participation, and open access to information for various stakeholders,” it added.
The statement said the PURC was able to among others undertake consumer service clinics, which enabled the commission to bring its complaints resolution processes closer to consumers; published the reckoner (electricity and water), which enabled consumers to compute their own tariffs based on consumption levels; redesigned the Commission’s website to accommodate new developments and constituting regulatory audit teams to undertake verification exercises, based on submitted investment needs of the utilities.
“Furthermore, the commission made significant progress on transparency in its tariff setting processes by publishing approved guidelines for setting tariffs, quality of service measures to guide the regulated utilities, and improved considerably on its institutional capacity to enable it fulfil its mandate,” it said.
“Through this, the commission was able to reverse the tariff structure, which was previously punitive for industry. This was to enhance the competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country,” it added.
According to the Executive Secretary of the PURC, Dr Ismael Ackah, being ranked fourth this year is an improvement on the commission’s seventh position in the previous year.
“The commission owes this to the cooperation of its numerous stakeholders to which the commission is grateful,” he added.
The ADB, since 2018, has surveyed regulatory frameworks in the electricity sector in Africa. From year to year, the Bank through the ERI continues to inspire African countries to achieve better electricity sector performance through reforms.
The ERI has evolved considerably since 2018 when only 15 countries participated in it, compared with 44 countries in 2022.
The Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation at the African Development Bank noted that “the ERI has been influential not only in Africa but also the rest of the world”.
BY TIMES REPORTER