Nana Yaa Jantuah, PRO, PURC
The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has again hit Ghanaian consumers with increases in water and electricity tariffs.
On Wednesday, the PURC announced a tariff increase of 12.09 per cent and 6.1 percent for electricity and water respectively, which would take effect from July 1, 2014.
According to a statement issued by Dr. Emmanuel K. Annan on Wednesday, the quarterly automatic tariff adjustment should have seen an increase in tariffs for the third quarter starting from July 2014 to 31.56 percent and 14.30 percent for electricity and water respectively.
However, the utility regulator explained that it used the tariff calculation for the second quarter.
‘The PURC, after deliberations on implementation of the 3 rd Quarter Automatic Formula, has arrived at an adjustment figure of 31.56 percent for electricity and 14.30 percent for water. However, the Commission has decided not to pass on the current increase but to implement the second tariff of 12.09 percent for electricity and 6.1 percent.’
In January, this year, the PURC started adjusting the prices of utilities through the Automatic Adjustment Formula that culminated in an almost 100 per cent and 50 percent increases for electricity and water tariffs respectively.
The January hikes caused serious agitations by labour organizations and the general public, who accused government of being insensitive.
The Secretary General of TUC, Kofi Asamoah said the controversial hikes would worsen the plight of the citizens.
The PURC, which justified the increases in water and electricity tariffs, explained that the new prices were dictated by factors such as the Cedi-US dollar exchange rate, inflation, price of crude oil and natural gas, among others.
Consumers have often criticized the utility providers for short-hanging them by providing sub-standard services.
The PURC has also been accused of failing to ensure that utility providers offer consumers value for money.
‘The Commission is certainly aware of the current challenges consumers are facing with the provision of electricity and water and that is why the Commission has decided to implement a much lower percentage, which is the previous tariff for the second quarter of the year,’ the PURC noted.
‘It is the hope of the Commission that the challenges we are facing as a nation in terms of electricity supply would be minimized when the country gets natural gas from Atuabo,’ Dr. Annan stated.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran
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