PURC must protect consumer interest – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) for reducing electricity tariffs, but wants them to protect the interest of consumers.
According to President Akufo-Addo, towards reducing electricity tariffs, government, as set out in this year’s Adwumapa budget, Government proposed a review of the tariff setting methodology and cost structure of energy production.
This, the President said, resulted in the proposed reduction of electricity tariffs.
“Happily, the PURC has taken forward the proposal of Government to make it effective. Residential customers, as from 1st April, are now enjoying a 17.5% reduction; non-residential customers have seen their electricity bills cut by 30%; the mines are now entitled to a 10% reduction; whilst special load tariff customers are also enjoying a 25% reduction,” he said.
“It is important, in the view of government, that we bring relief to the Ghanaian consumer and industry,” Nana Addo added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, at the Jubilee House, when he swore into office two members of the Board of the PURC.
The President noted that, since its inception, the PURC, through the development of regulations, tariff setting guidelines, establishment of monitoring systems and, arguably, a transparent and independent tariff setting process, has contributed positively to the promotion and sustainability of competition, evident in the introduction of private sector investments in the utilities.
Through this, he indicated that, the country has seen a marked improvement in accessibility to utility services.
“However, one of the most notable functions as seen by most Ghanaians to be effectively discharged by the PURC has to do with the review of utility tariffs most often than not in an upward manner,” he said.
The President continued, “It would appear that the other functions, primarily to do with the protection of the interests of the consumer and the delivery of quality service by utility providers, have been largely shirked by the PURC. This perception can no longer be allowed to fester. It must change.”
The President, in accordance with Act 538, noted that the Ghanaian people demand that the PURC protect their interests as well.
“In consonance with Section 13 of the Act, I urge you to ensure that, where a public utility provider fails to meet any required standard of performance, it is appropriately and duly sanctioned.
“The board has a duty to contribute to the development of a competitive energy sector, to drive the industrial and economic development of our country and at the same time, ensure that the ordinary Ghanaian has access to efficient, affordable energy,” the President added.