Public resort to illegal connections

General News of Thursday, 1 January 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Power  Lightening

To avoid the ongoing load-shedding exercise, some members of the public have connected their homes and workplaces to additional electricity phases to enable them to continue to enjoy electricity whenever their original phases are switched off.

They switch on to the alternative phases whenever the original phases go off, a practice which the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says is illegal. According to the Senior Public Relations Officer of the Avenor branch of the ECG, Mr Eric Asante, the use of two phases by electricity consumers was illegal and punishable by law.

“Anyone found with such connections will be disconnected immediately and charged with a fine,” he told the Daily Graphic.

“The original electrical line that the ECG connects a customer to for electrical supply must be the only electrical supply line until the customer decides not to be an ECG customer. Any attempt by anyone to get connected to any other electrical line will be considered an illegality,” he explained.

Unshed load

According to Mr Asante, the purpose of the load-shedding exercise, as the name implied, was to shed load, for which reason the use of double phases made it difficult for the ECG to shed its intended load in a particular place.

He indicated that if the ECG intended to shed a load of 50 megawatts (MW) on one phase in a community, for instance, it meant that phase would go off to allow consumers on the other phase to receive electricity, otherwise there would be no load shedding.

He said electricity which was distributed evenly to each customer meant the customers could not all be on one phase, hence the distribution of customers on the various phases in a community.

Goro boys

He advised Ghanaians to desist from the services of ‘goro boys’, also known as middlemen, who connected electricity for them.

According to him, the ECG had given out certificates to workers who were in charge of changing and providing electrical metres for customers.

However, he said, the company had observed that people still contracted the services of uncertified persons to address their electrical problems.

He described those uncertified persons as swindlers who sold one electricity meter for GH¢300 or GH¢400, instead of the original price of GHc82.25, to the public.

“Their connections may be cheap but not technically advisable,” he added.

Mr Asante stated that a task force had been set up to go to various communities to fish out people with such connections, but he could not tell how many people had been arrested yet.