Business News of 2014-06-02

ECG retrieves over GH¢2m from illegal connections

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has retrieved GH¢2,810,390 from 941 individuals and organisations who were engaged in illegal power connections between January and March this year.

The money was retrieved after the culprits were arrested and prosecuted for stealing a total of 7, 061,183 kilowatt hours (units) of energy from the ECG, translating into the amount.

The culprits were made up of individuals, organisations and restaurants from the Volta, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central regions.

Illegal power connections remain one of the biggest challenges facing the ECG.

Losses

The Public Relations Officer of ECG, Mr Adjei Larbi, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, last Friday, said the ECG was able to apprehend the culprits after informants alerted the company at their various offices where they operated.

According to Mr Adjei Larbi, the quantum of energy stolen translated into the total amount of money that was paid by the perpetrators after they were fined by the energy court.

Informants reward

He said GH¢211,838.64, representing six per cent of the money recovered, was given to the informants who reported the illegal activities to the company as rewards.

He explained that the operation had become necessary for the company to avoid commercial losses of energy which translated into the huge loss of revenue to the company and the country.

“When illegal activities take place, the impact is not only on the revenues we need to re-invest in the company, it also leads to loss of revenue to the economy,” he said.

Therefore, he cautioned members of the public to desist from engaging in illegal connections.

Bench mark

In addition, Mr Adjei Larbi stated that the regulators of the utility services, Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, had set a benchmark of 21 per cent of loss, hence the need to thrive towards achieving the target.

Last year, the ECG recorded losses of 23.37 per cent as compared to 2012 when it recorded 23.48 per cent of losses.

Mr Adjei Larbi said the company also attached seriousness to the clamping down of the illegal connections to ensure that loss of energy was reduced.

Source: graphic.com
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