ECG Ready For Power Thieves

Michael Twum Barimah Badu and another official of ECG

THE
ELECTRICITY Company of Ghana (ECG) says the activities of power thieves are
dealing a big blow to its operations and robbing it of huge sums of money.

General
Manager of the Revenue Protection Unit at ECG, Michael Twum Barimah Badu, who
disclosed this to journalists in Accra recently, averred: “ECG is suffering a
lot from power theft. When we purchase from our power suppliers, we lose about
24.6%. Out of the 24.6%, 10% is due to technical losses and a whopping 14.6%
goes for commercial loses and 1% of these losses translate to approximately
$17million (GH₵96.6
million).”

According
to him, ECG will this year, embark on unannounced nightly swoops to clamp down
on such illegal activities countrywide.

Noting,
“The first tax force has to do with the unplanned outages within the
company. The second is the commercial loss reduction tax force,” he said the
exercise would target industries, entertainment centres, hotels and households
which used electricity power illegally and caused financial loss to the state.

This year, Mr Badu said
ECG was targeting a 20%
reduction in power lost annually, which stood at 25%.

A study done by ECG in 2018 revealed that 11,890 out of
250,616 electricity metres inspected were tampered with.

Per the regional distribution, the theft was prevalent in the
Ashanti Region, followed by Accra West and the Central Region.

The study further revealed that consumers and staff of the
power utilities and their accredited agents were the major actors in
electricity theft, adding it was not only restricted to the residential sector.

Firms and individuals who operate energy-intensive businesses
using steel, paper, and chemicals were also found to be indulged in power
theft.

Churches, hospitals, police barracks, schools, and even some
state agencies, were also among the list of consumers found to be engaged in
such activity.

The
arrests are expected to reduce revenue losses through power theft from the
current 24.6 per cent to 20 per cent, a move that would save the country $85
million (GH₵482.8 million).

Recovery

Over
the last five years, ECG saved GH₵167.5 million from 177.26GWh of
electricity it recovered through the monitoring of power theft.

He
explained that 31.72 GWh was recovered in 2015, saving the company GH₵25.5
million, while GH₵23.63 million was saved in 2016 from 29.09 GWh
that had been recovered. For 2017, he said, the company recovered 48.3 GWh of
electricity, translating into GH₵45.5 million, with 38.4 GWh being
recovered in 2018, saving the company GH₵41.9 million

He
added that as of November 2019, 29.75 GWh had been recovered, translating into
GH₵30.96
million.

1,079,632
KWh of power was recovered from the Accra East, Accra West, Tema, Eastern,
Ashanti, Western and Central regions of the ECG, he noted, adding that out of the
estimated GH₵1.5 million surcharges from the operation
within the Christmas season, only GH₵152,214 had been paid.

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