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General News Sat, 21 Apr 2001

PURC Approves Increase in Electricity Tariffs

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has approved an average tariff increase of 103 per cent for electricity with effect from May, as against the average increase of 310 per cent requested by the utilities.

A release issued in Accra on Friday and signed by Mr Stephen N Adu, Executive Secretary of the Commission, said for "lifeline" domestic consumers, the increase is 95 per cent.

It said, a residential consumer on "life line" who pays 4,000 cedis a month, will now pay a monthly flat rate of 7,800 cedis, an increase of 95 per cent as compared with 25,000 cedis, an increase of 525 per cent proposed by the ECG.

For the rest of residential consumers above "life line", the tariff will increase by amounts between 102 per cent and 159 per cent. ECG proposed between 355 per cent and 442 per cent.

Non-residential consumers, comprising offices and businesses will pay between 98 per cent and 102 per cent instead of between 213 per cent and 355 per cent proposed by the ECG.

For small-scale industries, the release said, the charge will increase by 101 per cent as against 289 per cent proposed by the ECG.

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Energy charge for medium voltage industries will increase by 106 per cent while that for high voltage will also go up by 127 per cent as against the ECG's proposed increase of 282 per cent and 300 per cent respectively.

The Commission said having regard to all the circumstances, a sharp increase of rates by 310 per cent would not be feasible.

PURC said it considers this limited increase justifiable in the light of several adverse factors affecting the utilities, in particular, the inability of the utilities to meet their reasonable production costs and the adverse effect of the macro-economic environment on their operations experienced last year.

It noted that the increase falls substantially below the level of the increase requested by the utility companies and only meets their operating costs but not other important cost items such as debt service obligations and capital investment.

Source: GNA
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