The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been explaining the issues surrounding the seeming misunderstanding with customers in the Yilo and Manya Krobo districts of the Eastern Region.
The Company insists that residents legitimately used power between the period under contention and so the debt accumulated cannot be cancelled as demanded by the youth.
In a statement issued by management of the Tema Region, who have oversight responsibility in the Krobo areas, the Company also denied claims that prepaid meters are being installed in those areas ostensibly to punish consumers for events three years ago – which resulted in the vandalisation of the Company’s office at Somanya.
All these follow a demonstration by residents last Monday over the accumulated bills.
The residents, mainly the youth, demanded a total cancellation of their bills of between 2014 and 2017, and rejected the move to install pre-paid meters.
“We are tired of ECG, and we cannot work with them again,” one of the protesting youth said. “Secondly, we are ordering VRA to give us power supply straight from VRA.”
But ECG insists that it “has not started installing prepaid meters in Krobo District”.
“Neither do we intend to use the prepaid meters as a form of ‘punishment’ for our customers.”
It explained that the new billing system was suspended in 2014 because of operational challenges and it was not peculiar to the Krobo areas.
“This problem happened in all ECG operational areas, and not just the Krobo areas. Using the ten regions, it happened in Ashanti, Western, Eastern, Volta, Central, Greater Accra Regions.”
According to the statement, the issues encountered in the Krobo area were those of non-payment of bills.
This was subsequently rectified with the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) also carrying out an independent look into the issue, it said.
“However, some customers in Krobo insists that these investigations have not been done.
“The bills from 2018 till now have all been correct. There have not been any problems with them. However, as customers chose not to pay these legitimate bills, it has led to an accumulation of debt.”
The Company assured that it can consent to flexible terms of payment for customers on one-on-one basis but cannot totally cancel the debt.
“ECG cannot cancel debts for power which has been legitimately consumed and rightly billed.”