Business News of 2014-01-20

PURC talks tough on service quality

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has hinted at adopting new measures to deal more decisively with complaints by consumers of poor quality service from the power utilities.

At a meeting with organised labour last week, PURC’s Executive Director Samuel Sarpong said his outfit is in the process of acquiring Power Quality Analysers to monitor the quality of service provided by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The commission, he added, is also setting up a Metering and Power Quality Testing Laboratory to investigate complaints related to all types of meters.

“In some of the complaints we receive, people say their meters are not reading right; sometimes, people say they bought so much worth of electricity and in two days it is gone. So we have put in place a lab,” Mr. Sarpong said.

“We are using the same reference meters as the ECG, so that they won’t tell us we are getting a different result because we are using a different machine. So we expect that consumers who have problems will come for us to check and be able to solve their problems,” he added.

He also advised the ECG and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), which distributes electricity in the northern belt, to do a regular recalibration of their meters to forestall challenges associated with their reading.

The PURC is an independent body set up to regulate and oversee provision of the highest quality of electricity and water services to consumers.

Its key tasks include providing guidelines for rates to be charged for the provision of utility services, examining and approving water and electricity rates, and promoting fair competition among public utilities.

It is also to monitor and enforce standards of performance for provision of utility services, and to receive and investigate complaints and settle disputes between consumers and public utilities.