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Parliament to summon PURC and ECG over utility tariff increments

Parliament has indicated that the management of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) will appear before the house to answer questions on why electricity tariffs should be increased.

Ghana water and ECG

According to the Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Samuel Atta Akyea, PURC and ECG must explain the rationale behind the recent increment.

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On Monday, January 16, 2023, the PURC increased electricity and water tariffs by 29.96% and 8.3% respectively.

The commission said the new tariffs, which are for the first quarter of the year will take effect from February 1, 2023.

The PURC acknowledged the prevailing economic hardship in the country but said that the increments became necessary for the sustainability of the water and electricity companies and uninterrupted service provision.

But Samuel Atta Akyea said PURC will be summoned to explain to Parliament why it increased tariffs.

Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM, he said "They [PURC and ECG] should be able to explain to us why they think despite these difficulties, there should be an increase. I have not seen any rationalization for this increase, so I want to keep quiet until we as a committee find out from them what really is going on. As members of the committee, we do not have the underpinnings of this arrangement. So we need to call them, so we sit and engage them.”

"Some people are enjoying electricity at the expense of others that is why their books do not look good. We need to look at some of these things because in trying to come out of the doldrums, you don’t squeeze people too much. Rather, you do not sit down for people to enjoy free electricity. Go ahead and fix it."

In December 2022, the PURC started processes to adjust tariffs to reflect changes in macroeconomic variables such as inflation and exchange rate.

Dr. Eric Obutey, Head of Research and Cooperate Affairs at the PURC, said the cedi's rate against the dollar and inflation are some of the factors we try to correct using the quarterly tariff adjustments. We should be expecting an announcement before the close of 2022 because it is supposed to take effect from January 1, 2023.

In August last year, the regulatory authority announced a 27.15% increase in tariff for electricity and 21.55% for water.

The increment took effect on September 1, 2022.

PURC, however, called on the public to support utility companies to recoup revenues by reporting illegal connections.

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