The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has ordered the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to reduce tariff on the prevailing rates for all of its customers by 10.08%.

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The GWCL has also been ordered to pay a total of GHS14,640,084.48 to all its customers for breaching Section 11 of the PURC Act 1997, (Act 538).

The statement, which was signed by the Executive Secretary of the PURC, Mami Dufie Ofori, indicated that monitoring exercises revealed that the GWCL refused to comply with regulatory directives concerning the Teshie Desalination plant.

The PURC said following the GWCL’s agreement with Befesa to build, own, operate and transfer water purchase agreement, the Commission has since December 2015 included the contracted cost of the plant in its major tariff reviews.

The Commission holds that this was in breach of its acts and has therefore ordered a refund to customers.

“Between January and July 2018, the Commission undertook a number of measures aimed at giving GWCL a hearing and clarifying the tariff implications associated with GWCL’s operational decisions in respect of the desalination plant. The Commission subsequently issued an enforcement notification which the company failed to comply with,” sections of the PURC statement read.

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It said the reduction “represents the component of costs related to the desalination plant approved as part of the July 2018 water tariff decision.”

The statement added that the GWCL will refund “an amount totalling GHS14,640,084.48 only to all its customers. The amount represents five months’ tariff income unfairly over-recovered by GWCL between March 15, 2018, and September 15, 2018.”