PURC to sanction PDS over power outages
The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has said it will sanction Power Distribution Services (PDS) Ghana if it finds that the recent power outages breach its service delivery guidelines.
Mami Dufie Ofori, Executive Secretary, said the Commission is closely monitoring the development and will initiate investigations into the outages to ascertain the real causes and will not hesitate to apply the required sanctions if need be.
The service provider, she added, will be compelled to compensate customers if the investigations find them deserving of blame.
“The appropriate enforcement or penalty we have in our system will be given if we find them guilty or in breach of the regulations,” Mrs Ofori told Joy News Precious Semevor at the launch of an office for the PURC to serve Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Region.
Parts of the country have in the past days witnessed power outages lasting between nine and 12 hours within a given period.
The outages have occurred in many parts of the capital, Accra, Cape Coast, Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi, Volta region and some parts of the Northern region.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, customers of PDS have complained of outages lasting between nine and 12 hours within given periods.
The outages come just weeks after the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) handed over operations of the company to PDS. The takeover took place in February 2019, with PDS beginning operations on March 1.
PDS is expected to turnaround the operations of ECG to make it profitable. In addition, the new management is expected to improve access to electricity while cutting down on waste in the system to block all leakages that drain the financials of ECG.
Explaining the situation in Accra, PDS in a statement, indicated that the power outage is as a result of technical challenges. The company promised to address the challenges with immediate effect.
“The Power Distribution Services Ghana (PDS) wishes to inform the general public especially our cherished customers that due to technical challenges upstream, power supply to our Mallam Bulk Supply Point and Graphic Road has been curtailed.
“This has caused power outage within the Western and the Central parts of Accra. Immediately the situation is rectified, power supply will be restored to affected customers. The inconvenience is very much regretted,” the statement added.
With regards to northern Ghana, the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) attributed the situation to a “system failure.”
But Ghanaians are jittery. They fear the government is losing the fight at ensuring that the country does not return to the era of ‘dumsor’.
But the PURC says it will ensure that customers do not lose out eventually if it found that the outages could have been avoided.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission said the PDS will be assessed on its benchmark and performance standards and a failure at these will result in punishment.
Citing the successes it has chalked in enforcing the Commission’s enforcement procedures, Mrs Ofori assured that the PDS will not be left off without a penalty if it is supposed to be.
“GRIDCO who are the rightful people to deal with this, as well as PDS, have come out to indicate…and it is our responsibility as a regulator to investigate and know whether it is true or not and take the appropriate actions and that is what we are doing.
“It just happened within the last two or three days and definitely our investigations will kick in,” she added.