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PURC Fines ECG, Board Members Hefty Sums for Compliance Failure

The Commission said analyses showed that the majority of the outages between 7 pm to 11 pm were as a result of load management operations by GRIDCo and faults unrelated to overloaded transformers

The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has fined the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and its board members the sum of GH¢5,904,000 for non-compliance with directives.

In an order directed to the ECG, the PURC said the latter failed to comply fully with the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) through payment of allocation of tariff revenue as prescribed and allocated by the CWM Committee.

ECG also submitted only 36 bank accounts out of the 61 bank accounts showing balances for the period August 2023 to date being operated by them.

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The order also indicated that, while ECG did submit copies of publications on power outages, “ECG publications submitted did not cover all incidents of planned outages for the period 1 January 2024 to date.”

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They also failed to submit a load management timetable corresponding to the timelines and duration for each transformer injection.


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The commission also revealed that ECG presented factually inaccurate data. While they attributed power outages to system failures, “the analyses showed that most outages between 7 pm to 11 pm were due to load management operations by GRIDCo and faults unrelated to overloaded transformers”

ECG’s attribution of the outages between 7 pm and 11 pm to transformer overload was therefore not factually accurate, the commission added.

As a result of these non-compliances, the PURC has ordered ECG to “in addition to honouring its ongoing obligations under the CWM, ECG shall pay the amount of GH¢446,283,706.29 to the Category B beneficiaries under the CWM.”

Subsequently, the ECG has been ordered to pay GH¢36,000 for non-compliance with submitting bank accounts to the commission.

“For failure to submit details of all bank accounts to the Commission by the stated date, the Commission hereby imposes an initial regulatory charge of 3,000 penalty units on ECG in accordance with Regulation 45 of LI 2413, amounting to Thirty-six Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢36,000),” part of the order stated.

While the commission initially opted to fine ECG an amount of GH¢ 5,868,000, it realized doing so would be counterproductive, and has therefore decided to transfer the bearer fine to the board members of ECG.

“For that reason, in the interest of justice and to protect the interests of consumers, the Commission shall hold the Board Members of ECG who were in office between 1 January to 18 March 2024 liable for the payment of the Five Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢5,868,000.00). These Board Members were at all material times responsible for providing strategic direction to ensure the provision of safe, adequate, efficient, reasonable and non-discriminatory service to consumers,” the statement said.

BACKGROUND

On March 18, the PURC issued an order to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), under Sections 3 and 24 of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538).

ECG was directed to comply with the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) agreement and also submit various information and data to the commission, including a Dumsor timetable that had become necessary.

Almost a month later, with all deadlines exhausted, ECG has only duly complied with nine(9) of the orders, leaving five(5) outstanding ones yet to be fully met.

PURC TO ECG

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