Check Date: ECG’s nationwide power disconnection exercise

I think there are deeper difficulties about the nationwide disconnection operation being carried out by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), as the disconnection operation is an expensive enterprise for a distribution firm like ECG and eventually the Nation.

Disconnection never helps with “Revenue Mobilization,” despite what it might appear to achieve. Well, it generates some revenue. mass disconnect exercises are not done for free, but at a significantly higher cost, especially when the important time of Management staff and the board is involved!

A distribution firm only earns money when its clients use power (electricity), and only then when those customers are paying their electricity bills.

Disconnection means the cut of the service and reconnection after the payment is made, both instances have implied costs.

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From the customers’ perspective:

When connecting a new service, such as installing poles and wires, there are significant upfront expenditures that the consumer must pay before a home or business entity may use power.

Depending on the type of service, these costs may be much lower in some exceptional situations where the energy ministry is involved than they would be for purchases from the distribution business (ECG).

The Poles and Lines, however, revert back to ECG within 24 hours of these Large Sums being Paid, becoming the latter’s Property, causing a Trauma that Customers are unaware of and will never recover from!

They experience entitlement and fraud.

These customers attempt to avoid paying for what they consume in order to feel as though they are recovering some of their initial investment while atoning for their trauma and the increasingly escalating expenses of power that may be acknowledged but are nonetheless not accepted.

Remember that the customer paid for the service, whether it was a new connection or a separate meter in the case where an earlier new connection existed at the premises. In some cases, the “Police” (meter) installed on their premises gets modified, referred to as an illegal connection, or moved outright when the customer is moving.

From the distribution company’s (ECG) perspective:

Electricity (Power) is typically purchased by Distributors on credit mostly from Transmission Companies and then sold to its clients.

In order to accomplish this, they also offer various extra services like pole, transformer, cable (lines), meter, and other home sales, which are quoted to consumers once an estimate is created by the responsible office.

Customers apply for or acquire forms with terms of service that expressly state that the Business will retain ownership of the products listed in the estimate made to the client. Regrettably, the majority of customers don’t read these paperwork or the conditions of their subscription.

In the meantime, the business owes its suppliers and must return the quantities received for further distribution.

Power distribution is relatively expensive due to high overhead costs and other expenses.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, not the electrical provider, sets the rates for the selling of electricity (PURC).

“The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) was founded in October 1997 as a multi-sector regulator to regulate the provision of electricity and water utility services under the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538). The Ghanaian government’s reform of the utilities industry included the creation of the Commission.

The Energy Commission Act of 1997 (Act 541), which established the PURC, also governs the transportation of natural gas services. According to Section 4 of Act 538, PURC is an independent entity and is not subject to any authority’s control in the execution of its duties.

The Commission however submits annual operational and financial reports to Parliament. The Office of the President also exercises some administrative oversight for the Commission.”

The real issues:

Some debts owed ECG can be as old as my grandmother and she’s very old and I love her.

The installation dates of some of the readings that led to the accrued debts are sometimes unknown at the time of the Distribution Company’s request, so the age of the reading may occasionally be lowered in situations where the meter is recently discovered and has readings accumulated from occasionally unknown/uncertain installation dates.

The problem still exists that the true age of the reading is not always known with confidence due to mistakes that cannot be addressed in this article, which has financial repercussions for the consumer when these readings are billed in the wrong age category.

When the precise dates are even known, some of these obligations were passed down to the consumer from former users. Prepaid services were established to prevent similar incidents, however this does not exempt the customer from paying their debt, which is added to the prepaid account.

The “Power” Struggles between distribution firms and their unpaying clients start, along with the covert retribution of the original trauma outlined previously.
Both feel that what they are doing is appropriate…

Similar circumstances apply to other utility firms, such as Ghana Water Company, and are not specific to ECG.

Ghana pays the ultimate price and that includes and affects us all, whether directly or indirectly.

The situation needs deeper scrutiny and attention by government, to ensure fair play for All involved.

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