General News of 2014-06-26

CPA berates tariff increases; calls for mass action

Director of Research at the Consumer Protection Agency, Nana Agyemang Prempeh, has expressed surprise and shock at the decision by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to increase utility tariffs.

According to him, there is no basis for the increase. "If the situation [service provided] do not improve, there is no way we consumers should suffer the drought…,’’ he said.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, Mr. Agyemang Prempeh stated that the PURC cannot increase tariffs when it has not explained and given reasons why consumers do not enjoy reliable and efficient services.

“About a month ago, the PURC itself summoned the utility providers to give us the reason why we are not getting the kind of supply that we are supposed to get, especially for electricity; as we are all waiting for that report, they come up with this strange increment,’’ he noted.

He stated that the consumer cannot suffer the increment when service provided by the utilities is below average.

Mr. Agyemang Prempreh called on Ghanaians to unite and let the PURC and utility service providers know they are dissatisfied.

He added that the PURC cannot continue to pass on everything to the consumer.

“Why are we pushing everything to the consumer, because the consumer has no choice and is vulnerable…," he quizzed.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has announced a 30% and 14% upward adjustment in electricity and water tariffs respectively.

The PURC increase is due to the Automatic Adjustment Formula.

It is a pricing mechanism based on factors which reflect the actual cost of electricity and water supply.

The new tariff increase is effective July 1, 2014.