The Institute of Energy and Climate Change Policy (IECP), is asking government to publish the findings made by the task-force it formed to investigate electricity billing anomalies in the country.
According to the Institute, “a full publication of the reports unraveling the inconsistencies will help bring closure to the matter and rebuild investor and consumer confidence in the institutions involved.”
Government through the Ministry of Power set up a special Inter-Agency Taskforce to investigate complaints about bills from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
The task-force has since submitted its findings to government, but the findings have not been made public.
Prior to the commissioning of the task-force, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), ordered the ECG to suspend the implementation of their new billing software until further notice.
A statement signed by the PURC’s Public Relations Director, Nana Yaa Jantuah, said the directive was necessitated by incessant complaints from customers who alleged that they were being over-billed by the ECG.
IECP in a statement, questioned the high tariffs and asked government to explain to Ghanaians what caused the anomalies and whether it was the new taxes or the metering software used by the ECG.
“The consumers as stakeholders have the right to be informed on whether they are paying high bills as a result of software failure or the removal of subsidies and imposition of VAT and other levies,” the statement signed by the Executive Directive of IECP, Dr. Mutaka Alolo questioned.
The Institute also asked ten questions they believe “would bring clarity to the subject matter and enhance accountability as well as restoration of investor and consumer confidence.”
IECP also recommended that “over-billed customers should be compensated” if such is established in the report.
Below are the questions:
1.What are the contributions of the various components to the electricity tariffs?
2. What is the actual percentage increment in tariffs?
3. Is software the cause of the overbilling as claimed by PURC or the removal of subsidies and the imposition of VAT and other levies as claimed by ECG?
4. When is the suspension of the alleged overbilling software taking effect?
5. Is the old billing software capable of being used again? Has it been serviced?
6. Was the procurement of this overbilling software in line with our Public Procurement Laws? Who are the contractors and how much did the contract cost the tax payers?
7. When did the overbilling start? Was it from the beginning of the increment or some other date?
8. Which areas in Ghana are affected by this overbilling software?
9. How much money is involved? How much has accrued from the alleged overbilling and where is the money?
10. How will the ECG reimburse Ghanaians and what are the modalities for reimbursement if it is found out that they are overbilled?
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana