The Executive Secretary of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, says the PURC will announce a review of utility tariffs in July this year.
He however did not clarify whether the review will be upwards or downwards.
Dr. Ackah in a Citi News interview on the sidelines of an interaction with the Western Regional Managers of ECG and the Ghana Water Company in Takoradi said it is currently reviewing tariff proposals received from various utility companies and will make an announcement in July.
He added that the announcement will also depend on the Ghana Utility Performance Index satisfaction which the PURC will also publish this year.
“This year is a major tariff review year. Before we start, we develop guidelines, and in these guidelines, we go around to engage utilities, consumers, and other groups after which we ask utilities to submit proposals. These proposals have been submitted. In coming out with the tariff, we look at the proposals, we look at microeconomic indicators, exchange rates, and others. We look at customer services, which is how utilities over the period have also responded to customer concerns.”
“Let me add that this year PURC is going to start publishing what we call the Ghana Utility Performance Index looking at the regional performance based on customer satisfaction and the number of indicators. So we look at all these things before we come out with the tariff. Where we are now is that all utilities have submitted their proposals to PURC. We have started doing the initial analysis, and as we speak, it will be very difficult to tell you whether it will go up or come down, but we hope to announce the tariff in July,“ he said.
The Executive Secretary of the PURC said the Commission will engage all consumers, the media, and civil society before coming out with the tariff. He however said he does not foresee much impact on the tariffs from the increment in the prices of petroleum products.
“When we look at the generation mix, we have the Hydro, and we have thermal plants, but most of them use natural gas. I think we have only one plant using petrol now, and then we have the solar system contributing about one percent. So if there are any changes in gas price, then it is going to have an effect on the tariff. Because we have only one plant using petrol, yes petrol can have some effect, but it is just one plant, so it may not be that much as gas if there are changes in gas price,“ he added.
Reacting to plans by the PURC to publish the Ghana Utility Performance Index this year, the Western Regional Manager of the ECG, Emmanuel Ofori, said it will enhance performance among the utility service providers.
“I think it is good to be ranked because it helps you to perform better. For the Western Region, with our performance so far, we have been doing very well, especially with the liability in the indices, we have been meeting all the targets this year. So I believe when the ranking starts, we will not have any challenges. We hope to come up as one of the top regions in the company,“ he said.
Dr. Ishmeal Ackah, who also visited and interacted with the management of GRIDCO and VRA at Ketan and Aboadze respectively, commended the utility service providers in the Western Region where he visited on the first day of his tour.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) was set up as a multi- sectoral regulator by Government of Ghana in October, 1997 under the Public Utilities Regulatory Act, 1997 (Act 538) as part of the utility sector reform process to regulate the provision of utility services in the electricity and water sectors.
- Public Utilities Regulatory Act, 1997 (Act 538) as part of the utility sector reform process to regulate the provision of utility services in the electricity and water sectors.
- By virtue of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541) PURC also has regulatory responsibility over charges for supply, transportation and distribution of natural gas services.
- Under Section 4 of Act 538, PURC is an independent body and is not subject to the control of any authority in the performance of its functions.
- The Office of the President exercises administrative oversight for the Commission.