Out of the total number of 12,416 customers that engaged in power theft between 2019 and 2021, 1,047 culprits have been referred to the legal directorate for prosecution, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has revealed.
In addition to the power theft, ECG also had to deal with theft of copper from distribution transformers, utility poles, transformer oil from energised transformers, underground cables, overhead conductors, among others.
These criminal acts, it said, in a report have several adverse consequences including the obvious economic impact, service disruptions and possible danger to ECG personnel, the public, and persons involved in the theft.
As a result, the power distributor has begun deploying measures to mitigate the impacts of theft on the company’s operations are being deployed.
They are working with scrap dealers and law enforcement officials; fencing, warnings signs, adequate lighting of installations, patrolling and intrusion detection for deterrence and the expansion of the Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to remotely monitor the loads and consumption of high consuming Non-Special Load Tariff (NSLT) for early detection of theft.
System losses impact heavily on ECG
Also, system losses continue to be a major hurdle for ECG.
Though various mechanisms have been put in place to reduce losses, the company said it has not been able to achieve the commission’s benchmark.
The company’s system losses as of the end of 2021 was 29.84%, made up of 10.55% technical losses and 19.29% commercial losses.
Due to this, ECG has embarked on several projects geared towards system loss reduction across all operational areas of the company.
Some of the projects to reduce technical losses include the upgrade of under sized conductors; transformer injections to reduce the length of long LV networks; upgrading of long rural and peri-urban primary distribution feeders from 11 kV to 33 kV; metering of distribution transformer, sub-transmission and primary distribution feeders for energy accounting.
Prepaid energy meters have also been installed in major theft prone areas. Unmetered premises are also being metered to measure consumption for billing. Replacements of faulty meters and old electro-mechanic meters with smart prepayment meters is on course.