CPA threatens to injunct PURC from future utility tariff hikes

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has received a censure from the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) for failing to carry out its oversight of the nation’s utility service providers.

According to its opinion, PURC has utterly failed to uphold the common interests of consumers as stated in Act 538 of the 1992 Constitution.

The CPA has expressed displeasure with the utility providers’ subpar performance and their continued pursuit of rate adjustment.

Chief Executive Officer Kofi Kapito, who was addressing the media in Accra on Wednesday, March 8, fretted over why the work of the PURC has been tilted only to the side of the service providers in price fixing.

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He emphasized that the establishment of a Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) is provided for by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538). The PURC’s role is to oversee and regulate the provision of utility services by public utilities to consumers, as well as to provide for related matters.

He highlighted that, according to the Act’s requirements, the Commission is not to be under the direction of or under the control of any person or authority when carrying out its duties.

Mr. Kofi Kapito requests that the PURC announce tariff hikes with the same vigor it uses to ensure that service providers meet their obligations.

He has threatened to seek court injunction to bar PURC from making future tariff adjustments if consumers continue to suffer poor services from the utility companies.

“After the first quarter, if consumers are still facing the numerous problems being confronted in accessing these services there is no way the Consumer Protection Agency will support any tariff adjustment in future.”

He bet that the CPA would not think twice about going to court and asking for an injunction to prevent the execution of any price increases that were announced every quarter.

Kofi Kapito has urged the PURC, which has the authority to regulate utility businesses, to make sure that customers receive improved services.

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