‘PURC soon to announce new tariffs’

The Executive Secretary of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr Ishmael Ackah, says the commission is almost at the end of the 2022-2027 tariff review setting procedure, and will duly communicate it when it is through.

He stressed that the commission wanted to ensure a “fair, transparent and prudent process,” while both utilities and consumers obtain optimal benefit at the end of the day.

Dr Ackah was speaking at a media workshop under the commission’s media fellowship programme recently in Accra.

Dr Ackah explained that the commission was a mediator for utilities and consumers, and would ensure that both utilities providers and consumers were fairly treated.

“So to us we are guided by the principles of fairness, transparency and prudence,” he added.

The PURC Executive Secretary recounted that the commission began the five year tariff review setting process this year by developing guidelines “which we shared with all utilities for their inputs and they provided such.”

“Based on that, the board discussed and adopted these guidelines. Based on the guidelines, utilities submitted their proposals,” he added.

Dr Ackah said these proposals were then captured on the commission’s website and that signified its transparency principles.

“And we also asked all utilities to publish on their websites and newspapers which they did,” he added.

Dr Ackah said the PURC then created a platform where utilities presented their proposals to all consumers and where consumers in turn asked all their questions and made recommendations “so that they can also hold the utilities to some account”.

He said the commission went round the country to make known their proposals, after which its research directorate conducted a customer expectation survey and the findings were published.

“After this the PURC used its analysis module to analyse the proposals submitted and we came out with some figures, but before these figures can be announced we invited the utilities to come and defend why they were looking for such,” he stated. 

Dr Ackah said there were other policy issues like that of the loans given to utilities in 2015 by the government, and that needed engagement with policy makers.

“We met the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy, the Vice President and president. We did all these to ensure that the tariff we are coming out with is acceptable, prudent and fair,” he stated.

“So we are almost at the end of the exercise. It is not just about the analysis and the decision but importantly how we communicate that decision to everyone to understand all the processes and assumptions,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PURC deferred the date for the announcement of the 2022-2027 multi-year major tariff from July I to July 15, 2022, for reasons including the broadening of the tariff consultation process to solicit for more independent views and the autonomous substantiation of submitted projects.

The commission is yet to make the announcement.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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