It Isn’t As Easy As It Looks

Adapted by: Ebenezer Sarfo Adu
I’m not much of a Football fan. Typically, I only tune in when Ghana is playing, and the Ghanaian pride in me arises. I feel it is a waste of time to spend 90minutes to watch a football match when I don’t have any impact on the game being played. I prefer keeping up with the scores whenever my team is playing.
By the way apart from supporting the Black Starts, I support Chelsea FC and Real Madrid.
On Sunday as Ghana played the quarter final match, the Ghanaian pride in me made me tune into one of the Television stations to watch the game at 4pm. It didn’t really matter who the other team was. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the Black Stars and one player in particular – a 5-8 baby-faced winger named Christian Atsu.
His play went something like this. Get the ball, run with the ball on the right flank, Dribble one or two defenders and be awarded a penalty kick after being brought down. And that’s a goal. Ghana qualifies. Nothing but try and outpace defenders in speed and pass to a striker to score or make a one-two pass and move into a position that someone can find you and then a cross into the penalty area to find the striker.
And the thing that really caught my attention, besides Atsu on his long-distance crosses, and his ball-handling skills, was his pitch sense. He must have a football IQ. Running across the half pitch, no-look pass to a teammate streaking in for a header or bicycle kick? Piece of cake.
Which, really, was the most impressive thing about Atsu’s performance: It all looked so easy.
The rational part of my brain told me what Atsu was doing was incredibly difficult – had, in fact, never before been done as sublimely by anyone in Ghanaian Football History. But the irrational quadrant of the grey matter resting between my ears made me delude myself into dreaming something along the lines of “I could do that.” As it is always with the over 20million Ghanaian pundits and armchair strikers when running commentary.
“Now, if I could only remember where I’d put my boots a couple of years ago, blow off the dust and get after it. A little practice is all it’d take,” I fooled myself, forgetting due to a momentary loss of reason my loss of fitness in the accumulated years.
And it dawned on me that is a sign of genius. The ability to make something difficult appear easy.
Which leads me to say, I am a fan of my teammates at PDS who, like Atsu, make the really difficult seem easy. Want lights? Flip a switch. Power pole down in a storm/rain? Give them a call; they’re always there. Power Out in the evening? They are there to do their best and sometimes work throughout till dawn to bring the power back. Planning for the state’s future energy needs years in advance? PDS has engineers, planners, financial gurus. Admin assistants, technicians and analysts. And so many more.
They’re experts, the best at what they do. Like Atsu. Which sometimes leads to the average citizen on the street thinking: “I could do that, myself. How difficult could it be? Put up a substation, install a pole or tower, distribute electricity and everything is copacetic.”
But of course, things are rarely as easy as it looks, especially when performed by those really superior at what they do. I saw a TV special on some footballers that detailed the incredible amount of work they put into honing their craft. Their pregame warm-up routine, alone, would challenge even the most stalwart of wannabes.
It’s the hard work behind the scenes (“behind your Power,” if you will ) that makes everything flow so smoothly.
Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of that.
It’s a pretty fine deal we have, lounging in our overstuffed recliners, comfortable in our homes. We sip a cold coke, chomp microwave popcorn, and marvel at Black stars in raining down impossible goals to thunderous cheers.
I realise it’s not exactly the same for my PDS teammates, who often labour in obscurity. Backstage and out of the limelight, you make sure lights stay on and air conditioners hum while others watch, transfixed, a 44-inch, Hi-Def TV as the Black stars perform their magic act.
But it should be the same. After all, you, too, make the difficult seem easy, the impossible, possible. And that’s really something to cheer about.
I salute you guys!!!!
Hey I just checked the scores online and Real Madrid also won by 3goals. What a day!!!
  About the Author
Ebenezer Sarfo Adu is an Electrical Engineer and a Strategist with the Corporate Planning Division.

#WomenOfPower - Ing. Jacqueline Ofori-Atta (Mrs)

When were you employed in PDS, then ECG?
I was employed in January, 1994 as an Assistant Electrical Engineer with the Engineering Directorate. Specifically with the Design and Construction Division.
Why did you choose PDS?
After completing my National Service with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Tema, I began looking for a permanent job.  Having read Electrical and Electronic Engineering and majoring in Power, I was interested in a company that was power related.  My first option was thus PDS, the name behind Electricity in Ghana.I applied alongside a lot of my classmates from KNUST and out of a class of 24 who graduated in 1992 most of us were employed by PDS.
What challenges do you face as a woman with the position you hold in PDS?
Being the only woman amongst the Regional General Managers, I find myself being the only lady at most meetings/fora. I have had some strange reactions when I am introduced at times but I take it as part of the work.  I am quite used to being amongst a lot of men.  I attended a Boys’ Sixth form College and was the only lady in my engineering class. So, I am really comfortable working amongst men.
Of course, you get some men who do not like lady bosses but then I always have a way of working with them. What is important is knowing your stuff, being confident, assertive and making sure you deliver.
How do you manage the home with work?
Women are generally known to multitask.  It takes a lot of effort to excel at work and also keep a home. It requires a lot of planning and organizing to ensure that you are on point at all times. I have a fantastic family who have supported me tremendously especially when I had to live away from home for 8 years.
How do you find working with PDS?
During my career with PDS, I have worked with the Engineering and Operations Directorates. I started with Engineering, moved to Operations, back to Engineering and currently with Operations. It’s been a very diverse experience for me with the greatest challenge being the last seven years when I have worked as a General Manager in the Regions. However with careful planning, commitment, focus and great teamwork, it’s been good so far.
What Advice will you give to women who are interested in working with PDS or a perceived male-dominated company?
Perception is everything and it is not entirely true that PDS is male dominated.
PDShas so many directorates with equal opportunities for both women and men.  Women are making inroads into the traditionally male-dominated fields.  The key is to be qualified, know your stuff and excel at whatever you do.
Editors Note: Behind every organisation are #WomenOfPower. These women blaze the trail against all odds and play a pivotal role in the success of any organisation. These women inspire us each day as the combine managing the home and their careers. PDS would also like to appreciate the Women of Power behind our success. In the third of our series of #WomenOfPower, are some women in strategic Positions.
Interview By:
Philip Osei Bonsu (Public Relations Officer/Western region)

6 Things you need to know before applying for a meter service from ECG


Applying for a meter service should not be stressful. Some customers are not aware of the procedure, processes and cost when they are in need of a meter service. Here are six things you need to know before you apply for a meter service from ECG:

1. Meters are not sold but come with a service charge
Contrary to the perception held by most of our customers, meters are not for sale. Customers only make a one-time contribution towards its installation and maintenance. The amount paid at the time of applying for a service does not include the cost of the meter. Depending on the type of service being applied for, a customer could make some capital contribution towards the materials used in drawing service e.g. Conductors, poles and accessories.
2. A wiring installation completion certificate is required to apply for a meter service
The wiring of every household must be approved by a representative (agent) of the Energy Commission by providing you with a certified Installation Completion Certificate which comes at a fee. This certificate is part of the requirements when applying for any of our meter services. The Energy Commission is mandated by law to regulate household wiring in the Country. Do not worry if you do not know any representative of the Energy Commission in your area, visit the ECG district that serves your area for information on the agent of the Energy Commission in your area.

3. A copy of your site plan is needed for a new service
When applying for a new service connection (when there is no existing meter in the house e.g. a new building), you will need to provide the original and photocopy of your site plan, original and photocopy of a valid national identity card, your name, address and telephone contact. In the case of applying for a separate meter, you will provide your name, location address, contact telephone number, and a fully paid current receipt of the mother meter you are separating your load from. The original copies you present will be returned after inspection.

4. Do not use the services of middlemen or agents
When applying for a service, do not use the services of any middlemen or agents to avoid disappointment and unnecessary high costs. Visit the ECG District office or the ECG Customer Service Center that serves the area to apply. The Customer Relations Assistant (CRA) will help you go through a very easy and simple application process. A quotation will be given to you after an inspection of your site has been carried out. The quotation given will provide service connection fee up to a maximum of two poles depending on where the last pole to your house has been installed.  Currently, the Company is not using the sale of application forms. You will need to provide some important information (original and photocopy of any valid ID card, name and telephone contact number and a current fully paid receipt of the mother meter for separate meter application and if it’s a new service connection, an original and photocopy of your site plan) for processing your application. You will be given a service application quotation of GH 10.00 to pay to the Cashier, after which you will be given a receipt for the process to continue. Make all payments relating to your service application to ECG Cashiers only, and insist on a receipt.

5. Various types of service connection are provided by ECG at different rates
After an inspection on your site by our estimator, a customer will qualify for any of our services below depending on the outcome of the inspection:
Straight service: where ECG draws a service line from the nearest ECG pole to the customer’s premises.
Separate Meter: where ECG only installs an additional meter to a customer’s premises that already has ECG service line and energy meter(s)
Additional Load:  where ECG draws two additional lines to the customer’s premises to upgrade an existing single-phase service to a three-phase service. The existing single phase meter is also replaced with a three phase meter.
1 or 2 Pole Extension:  where ECG extends the network with additional pole(s) and conductors and then draws a service line from the pole(s) to the customer’s premises. This service includes the installation of an energy meter.
SHEP (Self Help Electrification Project)/GOG Project: This is similar to a normal straight service connection. It is generally funded by the Government of Ghana and therefore concessionary rates (determined periodically by GOG) apply.
The approved cost for the various types of service connection are provided below for the guidance of prospective customers:

6. Meters are not to be moved from one location to the other
Meters are not to be transferred from one place to the other. A meter is issued for use in a specific location and should NEVER be transferred to another point. All our meters are geo-referenced for easy identification of customers and database collection. So movement from one place to other can result in data loss. It also leaves room for illegalities.
For more information, visit our website www.ecggh.com or you can visit any of our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ECGghOfficial for help.

Three Phase Versus Single Phase Energy Meters


Have you ever heard of the term "three phase and single phase meters"? If you have applied for a meter service from PDS, my guess is that you might have heard of these terms. But what are three phase and single phase meters? And what are the differences? I am sure you must be wondering why you must even care, after all, all that you need as a customer is a service. However, it is worth having an understanding of the types of services PDS provides, and which one will best meet your need. I would say you need this understanding even before you get your house or property wired by a qualified electrician.
It is very important, since the three phase and single phase terminologies are not just words but in most cases have financial implications. The type of wiring in your residence or a commercial property could be meant for a three phase or single phase connection. Knowing the kind of connection you actually need beforehand will save you some unnecessary expenditure.  Let me try and give it a shot without sounding too technical.
The types of meter, apart from the several classifications there are, can be grouped into either single phase (1ph) or three phase (3ph) meters. The kind of meter suitable for a customer's need would depend mainly on the kind of installation one has. Customers with high electricity demand, such as commercial and industrial customers, would require 3ph energy meters, whilst residential customers with comparably low demand would require 1ph energy meters.
The infographic below details the major differences between single phase and three phase meters:

Table: Main Difference between single phase and three phase meters
With the above, it is important that your house is wired by a qualified electrician depending on the service you require.
Three phase wiring is much more expensive than the single phase wiring. Therefore if you require a single phase service based on the explanation above, there is no need wiring the house for a three phase service.
Myth: Three phase customers enjoy supply frequently
There are some residential facilities with 3phase energy meters. This could be as a result of some 3phase equipment/machine like big pumps or equipment/machine used in the house.
Assuming there is a fault on one phase, customers are normally in the habit of swapping all their 1phase equipment to the healthy phases thereby enjoying power supply.
This is what results in the myth that 3phase customers enjoy frequent supply.
The Truth is, the swapping of 1phase loads (equipment/machine) from faulted phases to healthy phases damages transformers that serve the entire community. This is because you will end up damaging the other healthy phases by overloading them. Transformers work best when all the phases have the same amount of load (power consumption). As such, swapping of loads will result in an imbalance which could possibly damage the transformer.
Go for a three phase energy meter if you have three phase equipment
Swapping of loads on 3phase systems results in transformer damage.
Choosing a single phase service and wiring would save you unnecessary expenditure
The next time you want to apply for a meter I believe you would remember Three Phase and Single Phase and know which of them will best suit your needs.
  About the Author
Enoch Yaw Asante is an Electrical Engineer with the Central Regional Substation Maintenance Unit.
He is currently the Safety Officer for the Central Region.