BusinessPower Sector

PURC must be transparent with tariff adjustment, says CUTS International

The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) on Tuesday (22 August) announced a 4.22% and 1.18% increment in water and electricity respectively

Appiah Kusi Adomako, West Africa Regional Director for CUTS International, a consumer protection institution, has asked the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to publish the percentage upwards or downwards used in reviewing electricity and water tariffs.

He said that would ensure transparency in the process and allow customers to hold the Commission accountable.

The call follows recent upward adjustments in electricity and water tariffs.

The PURC, on Tuesday (22 August) announced a 4.22% and 1.18% increment in water and electricity respectively, citing the exchange rate, inflation, electricity generation mix, and weighted average cost of natural gas for the increment.

Reacting to the increment in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, Adomako said: “The PURC must be transparent by publishing the data on its website that was used in adjusting the tariffs and indicating how it had a significant impact on the adjustment of the tariffs upward for consumers to know.”

He advised the Commission to publish the variable every month for businesses and households to plan how they would adjust to subsequent tariff increments.

Adomako said if the PURC failed to publish the variables, it could send a worrying signal of doing the bidding of the utility companies.

The variables, according to the regional director, fluctuated upwards and downwards; thus, he expected the Commission not to “present an excuse” to reduce tariffs when the variables trended downwards.

He also urged utility companies, particularly ECG, to address its distribution and commercial losses, saying that would ensure that businesses were spared the intermittent tariff increments.

“People must pay what they consume, and ECG must go to every length to collect its debts by visiting every household, business, and State agency that owes them to collect their debts to solve their losses. All these actions, I believe, stop the increments,” he said.

He added that the quest to increase the revenue of ECG should not be at the expense of the economy and households.

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