The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), as part of its planned and sustained agenda to create awareness of the recent tariff reviews, organized an educational program on Friday, October 27, 2023, at the Tamale College of Education to raise awareness on the multiple reviews.
The primary objective of the event was to provide insight and education to students and staff of the College on utility tariffs and energy conservation as part of the Commission's theme for 2023, dubbed “Year of Operational Efficiency”. This theme is hinged on Engagement, Education, and Enforcement (the3Es) in the operational activities of the Commission and for the benefit of its stakeholders.
The Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, walked the participants through the processes (generation/production, transmission/transportation, and distribution), of the power and water services, and its reliability to consumers. The electricity and water services are critical to stimulating investments and serve as the golden thread in the promotion of economic growth and development in the country. It was therefore imperative for the regulator to protect the interest of consumers, while making the utility service providers viable and to make sure there is an efficient and robust system in place to handle inefficiencies from service providers. According to Dr. Ackah, the PURC’s tariff-setting process consists of two windows, that is the major tariff review (MTR) and the quarterly tariff review (QTR).
Dr. Ackah further indicated that, with the growth in population, governments over the period have had to think through, and find alternate ways to meet the ever growing demand, thus the construction of thermal plants at Aboadze in the Western region and the Bui hydro power Dam in the Bono region all in an attempt to augment generation from the Akosombo hydro Dam. According to Dr. Ackah, tariffs apportioned to the regulated utilities is based on revenue requirements, and it is not the case that, whatever the utility service providers present to the Commission is that which is approved.
The Principal of the Tamale College of Education and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Sulemana Iddrisu encouraged participants to be energy efficient and remain mindful of their consumption.
Dr Sulemana advised staff and students to learn from the PURC’s presentation and be responsible consumers. “Let us conserve electricity for posterity. Let us conserve electricity to save cost. Finally, we all pledge that we will stand against illegal connection activities”.
Mr. Edmund Kwaku Tuffour, Principal Manager, in charge of Consumer Services and Monitoring in PURC, took staff and students of the College, through the PURC Tariff Reckoner and the PURC Electricity Consumption Estimator (PECE) App, emphasizing the need for consumers to monitor their consumptions. He demonstrated to participants, how they can monitor and calculate their consumption rates by using these apps.
More than four hundred students were represented and in an interactive session, concerns were raised with respect to value for money and service quality in the provision of these utility services. Other concerns addressed by the ES and his team centered around, why residential rates were higher than industrial rates.
The team from PURC comprised, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the Executive Secretary; Alhaji Jabaru Abukari, Director, Regional Operations and Consumer Services; Dr. Eric Obutey, Director, Research and Corporate Affairs; Mr. Edmund Kwaku Tuffour, Principal Manager and Head of Consumer Services and Monitoring; Mr Robert Tia Abdulai Aziz, Head of Corporate Affairs; PURC Northern Regional Manager, Mr. Edmund Boduah; Northern Regional Public Relations Officer of PURC, Mr. Mohammed Awal Khalilillahi; Imam Abdul-Wadud, Complaints Officer, Modesta Atinpaga, Administrative Officer, Head of Executive Secretary’s Secretariat, Ms. Maame Esi Eshun; and Mr. Bryan Adaare, I.T. officer at the Head Office of PURC.