As part of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s agenda to create awareness on the recent tariff adjustment, an educational programme was organized on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at the Koforidua Technical University in the Eastern Regional capital, Koforidua. The event, organized by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), featured Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the Executive Secretary of PURC, and a team from the Commission's Head office and the Eastern Regional office.
The primary objective of the event was to provide insight and education to students and staff on utility tariff and energy conservation.
During the event, Dr. Ackah delivered a presentation on the Commission’s establishment, functions and supply chain for both power and water. He elucidated on the essential role in protecting the interest of consumers and utility service providers as well as PURC's Tariff-Setting Process. Further to this, he emphasized the significance of establishing a robust system to address any inefficiencies from service providers.
In an interactive session during the programme, students asked questions and raised concerns regarding value for money in the services offered by the regulated utilities and why residential rate was more expensive.
Dr Ishmael Ackah in his submission raised the importance of accountability among all parties involved in the supply chain. In his explanation, he highlighted on the impact the exchange rate and inflation had on the revenue requirement for the delivery of utility services. Again, he brought to the attention of the audience, the contribution of industries in the country and the need to provide them with fair pricing by re-adjusting the residential rate to balance the subsidy the previously enjoyed.
In his conclusion, Dr. Ishmael Ackah elaborated on the comprehensive the approach the PURC considered in its Tariff Review process, i.e. the Major Tariff Review (MTR) and Quarter Tariff Review (QTR). According to him, the MTR involved that assessment of both the operational and capital expenditures of the utility companies which was benchmarked against all regulations as well as stakeholders’ submissions, whilst the QTR monitored the exchange rate and inflation.
Mr. Leon Kpapko Acquaye, Head of Complaints and Data Analysis at PURC, engaged student in an interactive session on the use of PURC Tariff Reckoner and the PURC Electricity Consumption Estimator (PECE) App. He stressed the importance of consumers being proactive in monitoring their consumption patterns. Through practical demonstrations, he showcased how these apps empower customers to track and calculate their own consumption rates.
Prof Emmanuel Kofi Essumang, the Vice Chancellor of the Koforidua Technical University in his closing remarks, expressed his gratitude for the educative session led by Dr. Ismael Ackah and his team. He praised their dedication and encouraged students to share the knowledge gained with their peers and parents.
The PURC Head Office team members present at the event included: Alhaji Jabaru Abukari, Director in charge of Regional Operations and Consumer Services; Dr. Eric Obutey, Director in charge of Research and Corporate Affairs; Mr. Leon Acquaye, Head of Complaints and Data Analysis; Maame Esi Eshun, Head of Executive Secretary’s Secretariat; Mr. Charles Biney, Principal Officer Research and Cooperate Affairs and Mr. Bryan Adaare, I.T. officer.
Overall, the event aimed to enhance understanding of the tariff-setting process and promote responsible consumption practices among consumers.