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General News Thu, 21 Nov 2002

VRA wants more hikes on power tariffs

Despite the recent increase to meet its production cost. The Volta River Authority (VRA) Ladies Association to other women groups in the town on the economic use of electricity with regard to new tariffs.

The VRA ladies have targeted women, because they are identified as the most vulnerable group who use more power. Speaking on the topic: “Justification for the new Tariff with regards to VRA Operation”, the Public Affairs Director of VRA, Mrs Ellen Essilfie said it costs ?478 to produce a unit of electricity, but the recent tariffs by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) only approved ?400 to be paid on a unit, thereby creating ?78 per unit as an extra cost for VRA.

Giving figures of payment per unit, Essilfie said from 1999 to August 2002, the following were payments made by the public against actual production cost: These were 1999, payment ?95 per unit, actual cost ?168 per unit; 2000, ?95 against ?317; 2001, ?194 been paid per unit and actual production cost was ?372. Others were 2001, ?194 per unit against ?377 and May 2002, ?194 was paid against ?478 per unit.

The Public Affairs Director, said these payments against the actual production cost does not augur well for VRA. According to her, VRA wants to extend its operations to all corners of the country, but with the low level of tariffs being paid, it is blocking them from further expansions.

Currently, VRA is running 38-substations countrywide, which involve a lot of cost. VRA, according to the director, is planning to get more transformers to improve on their quantity of electricity supply.

Essilfie emphasised that what VRA is asking for is cost recovery, but not profit. She added that currently about 40 per cent of Ghanaians are enjoying electricity, and according to her this does not speak well for the government’s golden age of business.

In an address read on his behalf, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Akuboah Debrah agreed that with the cost of production of electricity, the public is paying less on power.

Source: Chronicle