The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) is expected to announce new utility tariffs by July 1, 2022, after the Ghana Water Company Limited and the Electricity Company of Ghana submitted proposals for increment.
According to the Acting Director, Research and Corporate Affairs at PURC, the Commission has been interrogating the companies since receiving the proposals to ascertain their need for tariff increment.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, Dr Eric Obutey stated that “for now we are about finishing the stakeholder consultations. In the coming weeks, we will be meeting with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy and we will be meeting with the TUC as well.”
Aside from these entities, the PURC, Dr Obutey added, will also have a hearing where the general public would be encouraged to voice their concerns on the increments that ECG and GWCL are proposing.
“The Commission is looking at the first of July to come up with adjustment in tariffs. So between now and the middle of June we will be having these stakeholder engagements and public hearings and we will do all the number crunching and come up with a tariff,” Dr Obutey said.
The Electricity Company of Ghana is demanding a 148% increase in tariff.
A proposal from the power distributor, submitted to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), wants the adjustment to cover the period 2019 and 2022.
It also proposed an average increase of 7.6% in tariff over the next four years to cover Distribution Service Charges (DSC).
On its part, the Ghana Water Company Limited is demanding a 334% increase in tariff.
The GWCL in its proposal said over the years, the approved tariffs have not been fully cost-reflective.
These proposals have generated widespread conversation, with many Ghanaians expressing their disapproval of same.
Following the concerns raised, GWCL stated that should the general public refuse to support the company’s drive to get customers to pay realistic tariffs it may have to halt operations in the future.
According to the Communications Manager, Stanley Martey, the company can no longer continue to struggle to stay afloat using the meagre revenue it generates, hence the need for higher tariffs.
He said on JoyNews’ PM Express that the inability of the company to generate enough revenue from the low tariffs it charges has largely contributed to the inefficiencies it experiences at the moment despite several internal interventions to increase revenue generations.
Meanwhile, Policy Analyst, Bright Simons, has described as untenable, the demands being made by regulated utility companies for hikes in their tariffs.
According to him, their demands are akin to the utility companies “having a laugh” at the expense of Ghanaians.
Also speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, he called on the PURC to take an active role in assessing the viability of their integrated resource plans.
“They cannot justify the demands that they’re making, and we believe the PURC has every basis to begin active regulation,” he said.