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PURC Orders ECG to Submit Data for Auditing, Publish Dumsor Timetable

The PURC reveals that the ECG made zero payments to the Volta River Authority from November 2023 to January 2024 and zero payments to the Ghana Grid Company Ltd. (GRIDCo), in October and November 2023.

The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has ordered the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to publish a load shedding (Dumsor) timetable amid the current power interruptions experienced around the country.

The order, authorized under Sections 3 and 24 of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538) also requires the power company to submit information on returns and investments where applicable.

The order generally reflected a notion that ECG, Ghana’s biggest power distributor, has been abysmal in the performance of its duty while exhibiting a lack of transparency due to its failure to supply critical data to PwC for validation.

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The PURC cited a “decline in the quality-of-service delivery, including increasing power outages across ECG service areas from January 1, 2024, to date” and said the company “failed to provide critical data requested by PwC on customer billing, revenue collection data, and bank statements for the periods covered by the audit, presenting a significant obstruction to the audit and transparent administration of energy sector revenues, and regulatory validation by PURC”.

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READ ALSO: It is an Incontrovertible Fact that ECG Paid ¢80M in Excess, Bright Simons Replies Fidelity Bank

Among many other critical reasons, the PURC has found that the ECG has become notorious for charging many unapproved service connection fees yet there’s been an increase in the continuous complaints of customers related to varying connection and billing challenges.

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The PURC, therefore, based on their mandate, has charged the ECG to adhere to two main orders; to comply with the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) agreement and also submit various information and data to the commission, including a Dumsor timetable that should be made available to consumers as well.

For instance, the PURC noted that the ECG made zero payments to the Volta River Authority from November 2023 to January 2024 and zero payments to the Ghana Grid Company Ltd. (GRIDCo), in October and November 2023.

They believe that payment inconsistencies such as this, are a serious threat to the financial stability of the energy sector.

In May 2017, the Cabinet of the Republic of Ghana approved the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM). The objective of the CWM is to ensure fair and equitable allocation of revenues accruing from electricity tariffs approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

Along the line, the Ministry of Finance went into agreement with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Ltd (PwC) to audit the books of the ECG. The electricity distributors were by this agreement expected to supply PwC with the necessary documents. However, they failed to comply with that directive which posed a significant threat and a possible obstruction to the auditing.

READ ALSO: PURC Announces Reduction in Electricity Tariff for Residential Consumers

ECG’s failure to open its books for auditing raised suspicions among CSOs and stakeholders. One would recall that Bright Simons, President of mPedigree, accused the ECG of dabbling in financial malfeasance when it brokered a forex deal with fidelity bank last year – an issue that’s ended up in court. 

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