The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Revenue Taskforce in the Volta Region has embarked on an exercise to clamp down on illegal connections and to retrieve money owed the company.
The exercise, which has so far yielded over GH¢1.5 million in retrieved money involved surcharging customers who were in arrears and others who engaged in power theft across its operational areas in the Volta and Oti regions.
The exercise, which began in 2022 saw the ECG Revenue Taskforce visit households, hostels, hotels, cold stores, pubs, restaurants and government institutions which owed the company to ensure they settled their debts.
The task force also surcharged customers who were caught using power illegally, thereby depriving the company of the needed revenue.
Speaking to the media, the General Manager of ECG in the Volta Region, Emmanuel Lumor, said “following the inauguration of the national taskforce by the Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the region has also commenced a special exercise to support the activities of the task force to help the company retrieve money owed by some customers and curb the menace of illegal connection”.
No one spared
Mr Lumor indicated that the activities of the task force were in accordance with LI 2413, which allowed the company to disconnect customers who refused to pay their bills within 14 days after receiving the bill.
He added that the task force had also served some institutions disconnection notice in accordance with LI 2413, giving them three days to settle their debt or face disconnection.
“For some institutions like the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) and the Ho Technical University, after receiving the notice of disconnection, they took steps to settle all their debts. Other Customers who did not make any financial commitment will be taken off the national grid until they settle their debt,” he said.
The task force has visited customers in the Ho, Denu, Sogakope and Kpando districts and are set to visit about 100 debtors to ensure they settle their debts.
Mr Lumor indicated that the company had intensified announcements, radio education and other stakeholder engagements to sensitise customers to the need to pay their bills promptly to help ECG serve them better.
He further disclosed that the task force also checked for illegal connections and “some of the illegalities uncovered during this exercise include meter bypass, unauthorised and direct connections and meter tampering.”
He bemoaned how illegal connections by some customers affected the financial strength of the company and prevented it from undertaking projects that would inure to the benefit of customers.
“As a company, we have to pay power producers when we purchase power from them to distribute to our cherished customers, hence consuming power illegally prevents the company from getting money to pay these key players in the electricity supply chain,” he said.
He cautioned the general public to do the right thing through prompt payment of bills and desist from an illegal act such as meter bypass since it was a criminal and very dangerous act which could cause fire outbreak and the loss of life through electrocution.
Mr Lumor called on the general public to help the company in its fight against illegal connection by reporting people who engaged in such acts to the nearest ECG office or call the national taskforce on telephone number 0551444011, and indicated that there was a financial reward for doing so.