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President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) for bringing relief to Ghanaian electricity consumers and the industry, with the reduction of electricity tariffs which took effective April 1, 2018.
He noted it was heartening that the PURC had taken forward the proposal by the government for a review of the tariff setting methodology and cost structure of the country's energy production.
Speaking after swearing in two members of the PURC Board at the Jubilee House in Accra, the President said: “It is important, in the view of government, that we bring relief to the Ghanaian consumer and industry.”
“Happily, the PURC has taken forward the proposal of the government to make it effective. Residential customers, as from April 1, are now enjoying a 17.5 percent reduction; non-residential customers have seen their electricity bills cut by 30 percent; the mines are now entitled to a 10 percent reduction; whilst special load tariff customers are also enjoying a 25 percent reduction,” he said.
The two new Board members are Mrs Dora Oppong and Dr Adu Gyamfi.
President Akufo-Addo noted that, since its inception, it had contributed positively to the promotion and sustainability of competition, evident in the introduction of private sector investments in the utilities.
He indicated that as a result of the PURC's independent and transparent tariff setting process, the country had seen a marked improvement in accessibility to utility services.
“However, one of the most notable functions, as seen by most Ghanaians to be effectively discharged by the PURC, has to do with the review of utility tariffs most often than not in an upward manner,” he said.
“It would appear that the other functions, primarily to do with the protection of the interests of the consumer and the delivery of quality service by utility providers, have been largely shirked by the PURC. This perception can no longer be allowed to fester. It must change.”
The President noted that it was the demand of the Ghanaian people that the PURC protect their interests as well.
“In consonance with Section 13 of the Act, I urge you to ensure that, where a public utility provider fails to meet any required standard of performance, it is appropriately and duly sanctioned.
The board has a duty to contribute to the development of a competitive energy sector, to drive the industrial and economic development of our country and at the same time, ensure that the ordinary Ghanaian has access to efficient, affordable energy,” the President added.
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