The Public Utility Regulations Commission (PURC) has announced that it will in the coming days of August introduce new utility tariffs for electricity and water consumers.
The Commission was supposed to have revealed the new rate in June 2022, but for further and broader consultation on the matter, it deferred the announcement.
Speaking to the media last Friday, August 12, 2022, the Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr Ishmael Ackah, stated that all stakeholders relevant in determining the new tariffs have been consulted.
According to him, â€œthe commission is finalising and in the next few days, the new tariff will be announced.â€
He further added that the new utility tariff will be â€œbusiness friendlyâ€ particularly for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
He pointed out that the 2022 tariff also aims to progressively change the utility tariff structure in the country, where residential consumers pay lower tariffs than industry.
â€œWe currently have a situation where industry pays higher tariffs than domestic users. This is because we have a cross subsidy inbuilt in the tariff structure,â€ he said.
Mr Ackah added that there has been a decrease in the cross subsidy, which will in turn, increase the industrial sectorâ€™s competitiveness, improve operations and also generate jobs for the unemployed.
In May this year, based on the regulatorâ€™s guidelines, the utility companies submitted proposals to the PURC.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) proposed 148 per cent, the Volta River Authority (VRA) proposed 37 per cent, with the Ghana Grid Company Ltd (GRIDCo) proposing 48 per cent and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) suggested a 300 percent increase above its current charges.
Other suggestions included ,113 per cent rise over the existing tariffs of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) and the only private power distributor, Enclave Power, proposed 38 per cent.
The proposed tariffs followed policy directives to gradually get rid of what has been called â€œpunitive tariff bandsâ€ that hindered consumption.
In reaction, the Institute of Energy Security (IES) stated that the demands by the ECG and GWCL are unrealistic despite the fact that their production costs have increased over time.
When announced, this would be the first tariff adjustment since 2017.
Source: The Independent Ghana