The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has instructed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to suspend the implementation of their new billing software until further notice.
A statement signed by the PURC’s Public Relations Director, Nana Yaa Jantuah, said the directive was necessitated by incessant complaints from customers who alleged that they were being over-billed by the ECG.
[contextly_sidebar id=”spSVgHMYapxWOxX0bx582fS1xZ3AWIWR”]The PURC late last year sanctioned an increase of 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent for electricity and water tariffs respectively. But businesses and individuals expressed displeasure with the increase which they described as astronomical.
Despite the PURC’s justification of the tariff increment, it responded to the complaints by assuring customers that it was working to resolve their concerns.
The Commission’s latest move could thus be seen as a step in the right direction. It has asked the ECG to correct all anomalies and re-bill customers who have been affected by the new billing software.
Anomalies in new billing software
The PURC explained that thorough investigations into the allegations revealed that there was an anomaly in the initial implementation of the new billing software.
“The Commission after a thorough investigation into the matter through our monitoring exercises which culminated into visits to specific areas and also interrogation of bills which were presented to consumers by the Electricity Company of Ghana, came to the conclusion that there was an anomaly in the initial implementation of the new billing software.”
ECG billing irregular
The PURC also noted that the ECG is billing customers over an irregular period of 18 to 43 days, which is a contravention of the 20-day billing cycle for customers.
Some customers are also being billed above the approved service charge and the approved tariffs in December 2015, according to the regulatory commission.
Thus, the PURC has among other things, ordered the ECG to appoint an independent billing software expert to audit the new billing system and present a report on it.
It has also directed the ECG to reconnect any customer who was wrongfully billed and disconnected with immediate effect.
The PURC further threatened to sanction the ECG if they do not comply with their directives.
“Failure to comply with these orders will result in sanctions against the ECG. The PURC is urging all consumers who are experiencing any issues to do with over-billing to report to the PURC.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/cififmonline.com/Ghana