Business News of Friday, 26 October 2018
Energy consumers should by 2023 choose their own power suppliers. This is according to the Energy Commission.
The move is part of reforms being undertaken to make the power supply subsector more competitive.
Per the new arrangement, smaller private entities will be given the license to distribute power regardless of the meter they use.
The current system limits consumers to purchase power from only one source including the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG.
Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Ofosu Ahenkorah explained that incentives are being put in place to make the power distribution subsector more efficient.
“If you have multiple buyers and sellers then you create competition. We have lowered the bulk customer classification for much smaller entities to go into the bulk power market. So in five years’ time, every household can choose its supplier”.
Access to electricity has increased across the country over the years.
Currently, 81 percent households have electricity with 84 percent communities connected.
This means that the country can have a 100 percent accessibility to power, but not until existing generation capacity is expanded and more private sector investments are attracted to fund the expansion.
The sector has been undergoing some reforms for the past 20 years now to address these challenges.
When the reforms are done, the power sector would have more generators and distributors who will compete to supply both large, medium and small final consumers.
However, Industrial and Energy Consultant, Andrew Quayson says the high cost of power must be first addressed.
“To me, that is not the first priority. The first priority is to make sure that the system is efficient. How do we reduce the cost of production?”
He added that “we have hydro which is relatively cheaper. We have thermal. The generation units should be combined so they can use gas for production. We have realized that in the northern region collection is 60 percent. So we need to improve the collection rate. The other one is commercial and technical loses”.
Power distribution has been confronted with low revenue collection and illegal wiring.