The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says it cannot cancel power legitimately consumed by its customers in the Yilo and Manya Krobo Districts of the Eastern Region.
According to ECG, the customers must clear their debt accumulated for the period in contention since it cannot be cancelled as demanded by them.
A statement from the ECG Tema Regional Office which has oversight responsibility for the Krobo area said the claim that it has started installation of prepaid meters in its operational areas is false.
The company have also not installed meters in those areas to deliberately punish consumers for three years ago, but reality of power they have consumed which accumulate every month as a result of nonpayment.
This follows a demonstration by residents last Monday over the accumulated bills.
The residents, mainly the youth, demanded a total cancellation of their bills of between 2014 and 2017, and rejected the move to install pre-paid meters.
“We are tired of ECG, and we cannot work with them again,” one of the protesting youth said. “Secondly, we are ordering VRA to give us power supply straight from VRA”, the residents carrying various placards during the protest on Monday, November 22, 2021 said.
But ECG insists that it “has not started installing prepaid meters in Krobo District”.
“Neither do we intend to use the prepaid meters as a form of ‘punishment’ for our customers.”
However, the statement stated that the Electricity Company of Ghana encountered issues with its billing software in a number of previous regions from 2014 to 2017 which have been rectified some years ago.
They noted that the billing challenges were not specifically with Krobo, Somanya, rather across all ECG operational areas and the issues have been solved since 2017.
“Somewhere around 2014, ECG had a billing anomaly and this happened across all ECG operational areas in the previous regions that’s Ashanti, Western, Central, Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern Region among others. It got to a point where PURC came in and we have to suspend that billing software. So this isn’t an issue that happened specifically with Korbos alone.
“ECG conducted an investigation and submitted our report to PURC and they also conducted their own independent investigation, so the bills from 2014 to 217 were set aside. However, from 2018 till now, these are bills that had no issue with billing, they had no problem or challenges whatsoever. So if the youth are calling for cancellation, let’s say from 2014 till now, based on what are we going to cancel legitimately consumed energy from 2018 till now,” the statement said.
According to ECG, the issues happening in the Krobo area were those of non-payment of bills because some customers in Krobo insists that the investigations have not been done.
“The bills from 2018 till date have all been correct. There have not been any problems with them. However, as customers chose not to pay these legitimate bills, it has led to an accumulation of debt,” ECG said.
The Company assured that it can consent to flexible terms of payment for customers on one-on-one basis but cannot totally cancel the debt as they will continue to engage them on the issues for amicable settlement.
By Vincent Kubi