The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has appealed to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to compel the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to publish a load shedding timetable in the wake of the worsening power situation in the country.Critics have asked the government to be upfront with Ghanaians about the resurgence of the power crisis, but authorities insist the situation has not got to the level that requires the publication of a load shedding timetable.
Ghana experienced four years of erratic power supply that led to the collapse of some businesses and retrenchment of workers in some cases. The problem was eased after the arrival of two emergency power ships at the beginning of 2016.
However, in the past month, several areas have reported erratic power supply and blackouts – sometimes for a whole day. At Mamprobi, some residents have had cause to complain of power cuts for several hours, at least, thrice a week. The situation is not different for residents at Dansoman, Awoshie, Achimota, Taifa, Mile 7, and Kasoa.
Reacting to the issue in an interview with Class FM’s Naa Dedei Tettey, Head of Policy Unit and Energy Policy Advisor at ACEP, Dr Ishmael Ackah, said the failure of the ECG to release a timetable was illegal and called on the PURC to force the state power distributor to release a load shedding timetable as required by law.
“Legislative Instrument 1935 Section 6 says when ECG, an electricity supplier knows that because of certain reasons, which are not accidents –floods, earthquake or other major incidents, you will [switch] one place off and another on, you have to give public notice. Because you cannot go and announce everywhere, you come out with a timetable,” he explained.
He emphasised that per the laws, “if they do not come out [to announce a timetable], PURC should punish them, fine them, and the fine must be paid into the Renewable Energy Fund”.
For him, the behaviour of ECG “is illegal and PURC has been quiet over this matter…they must force ECG, if not, they will lose their legitimacy”.
He said the PURC needed to make the letters public, if they had instructed the ECG in that regard, because they have a duty to citizens.
Meanwhile, Campaign coordinator for the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), Dr Steve Manteaw, says the crisis in the energy sector may worsen.
Speaking to the host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class FM, he said measures announced by Finance Minister Seth Terkper when he presented his mid-year review and supplementary budget to parliament did not indicate sustainable solutions to the power situation in the country. “Government is living in denial and dancing around the problem.”