The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) was established in October 1997 under the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538) as a multi-sector regulator to regulate the provision of electricity and water utility services. The establishment of the Commission was part of the Government of Ghana’s utility sector reform process.
By virtue of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541) PURC also regulates transportation of natural gas services.
Under Section 4 of Act 538, PURC is an independent body and is not subject to the control of any authority in the performance of its functions. The Commission however submits annual operational and financial reports to Parliament. The Office of the President also exercises some administrative oversight for the Commission.
PURC is made up of nine Commissioners including a Chairman, an Executive Secretary, an institutional representative each for labour, industry and domestic consumers, as well as 4 experts in various aspects of the Commission’s work. Commissioners are appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State for five-year terms, which are renewable. The Commission is supported by a Secretariat headed by the Executive Secretary.
In summary, PURC’s key tasks are to:
To build a credible and sustainable utility regulatory regime that protects stakeholders’ interests.
To be a model utility regulatory institution in Africa.
Entities directly regulated by the PURC are the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), the Ghana National Gas Company Ltd. (GNGC), the Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd. (ECG), Northern Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (NEDCo), Enclave Power Company Ltd. and Ghana Water Company Ltd. (GWCL). The PURC regulates other public utilities in generation by approving the Bulk Generation Tariffs (BGT) payable to them by distribution companies, reviewing the reasonableness of pricing under Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and monitoring their quality of service.
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