The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has instructed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG),to suspend the implementation of their new billing software until further notice.

 

A statement signed by the PURC’s Public Relations Director, Nana Yaa Jantuah, said the directive was necessitated following incessant by complaints by customers alleging over-billing on the part of the ECG.

The PURC late last year sanctioned an increase of 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent for electricity and water respectively but businesses and individuals have expressed displeasure with what they say is the astronomical rise in the cost of utility.

Despite the PURC’s justification of the tariff increment, they responded to customers’ complaints by assuring individuals and businesses that it was working to resolve concerns associated with the new utility tariffs.

The Commission’s latest move could be seen as a step in the right direction as it has now asked the ECG to correct all bill anomalies and re-bill any customers who may have been affected by anomalies brought on by the new billing software.

Anomalies in new billing software

The PURC explained that through its investigation into the allegations, it came out that there was an anomaly in the initial implementation of the new billing software.

“The Commission after a thorough investigation into the matter through our monitoring exercises which culminated into visits to specific areas and also interrogation of bills which were presented to consumers by the Electricity Company of Ghana came to the conclusion that there was an anomaly in the initial implementation of the new billing software."

ECG billing irregular

The PURC also noted that the ECG is billing customers over an irregular period of 18 to 43 days, which is a contravention of the 20-day billing cycle for customers. Some customers are also being billed above the approved service charge and the approved tariffs in December 2015, according to the regulatory commission.

Thus, the PURC has among other things, ordered the ECG to appoint an independent billing software expert to audit the new billing system and present a report to the regulatory commission.

It has also directed the ECG to reconnect any customer who was wrongfully billed and disconnected with immediate effect. The PURC has threatened to sanction the ECG if they do not comply with their directives.

“Failure to comply with these orders will result in sanctions against the ECG. The PURC is urging all consumers who are experiencing any issues to do with over-billing to report to the PURC.”




Source: Citifmonline.com

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