NewsWest AfricaGhanaians brace for massive electricity and water price hikes

Tue,21Oct2014

Posted on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 17:48

Ghanaians brace for massive electricity and water price hikes

By Billie Adwoa McTernan in Accra

Cedi note, Ghanaian currency. Photo©ReutersGhanaian consumers are set to bear the brunt of power shortages, as the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) announced tariff increases by as much as 150 percent for electricity and 97 percent for water.

 



Individually, the largest proposed tariff increment comes from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), which seeks an increase of 166 percent. 

According to Ebenezer Baiden, a member of the tariff-setting team at the ECG, the company currently loses Ghp38 per kilowatt hour.

The increase would help them meet their funding deficit of $170 million.

In September the PURC, which regulates tariffs for the Volta River Authority (VRA), charges will go up by 137.5 percent, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) by 39.36 percent and Ghana Water by 99.39 percent.

Nana Prempeh Agyemang, head of research at the Consumer Protection Agency, said it was unfair to expect consumers to carry the cost of the utility companies' losses, particularly given the erratic service provision.

During the first half of the year, the country experienced chronic power outages as a result of an intense load-shedding exercise.

The cause of poor electricity supply was a result of damage to the West African Gas Pipeline that supplies the VRA and private power provider Sunon Asogli.

Charles Darku, head of GRIDCo, said Ghana's electricity consumption is between 1700MW and 1800MW and is expected to increase by 8-10 percent annually.

The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, said that the country should achieve a power generation capacity of 5000MW by 2016 after improvements and developments in the industry have been completed.

The tariff adjustments also come a week after the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Collins Dauda told residents in the Accra-Tema metropolis that their water flow should be stable by the end of 2014.



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