The intended utility tariff increment must be marginal – TUC pleads

tuc purc

The Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) on Thursday appealed to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to consider the plight of the ordinary citizen as it embarked on the process for the review of tariffs.

Mr Joshua Ansah, GTUC Deputy Secretary General, expressed concern that the intended review upward is going to be a big burden on the workers of this country.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Ansah said the salary of workers was increased by 10 per cent last year with effective date January 2019, so any astronomic adjustment upwards of tariff would erode the marginal salary increment.

“Any exorbitant increment will worsen the situation of employees in this country on the other hand we are not saying they should not increase but considering the plight also of the utility providers, we want marginal increment,” Mr Ansah said.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has proposed 23 Ghana pesewas upward tariff adjustment per kilowatt hour (23p/KWh); and Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) 4.897 Ghana pesewas per kilowatt hour (4.897p/KWh).

Others are Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) which is demanding 43 Ghana pesewas per kilowatt hour (43p/KWh); and Enclave Power Company Limited (EPC) proposing 26 Ghana pesewas per kilowatt hour (26p/KWh) for the 2019 Utility Tariff Review.

Meanwhile the PURC has assured the public that it would strike a fair balance between utility service providers and utility consumers in determining new utility tariffs.

Mr Ishmael Agyekumhene, the Chairman of the PURC Technical Committee, said this at a public hearing in respect of the 2019 Major Tariff Review for Electricity and Water organised by the Commission in Accra.

He said the Commission would consider a number of factors before agreeing to an upward tariff adjustment or otherwise.

Mr Agyekumhene, who presided over the meeting, said the PURC would go into caucus meeting to consider the tariff adjustment proposals made by the utility service providers and chart the way forward.

He urged the public to collaborate with the PURC and utility service providers to clamp down on illegal power connection and waste in the system noting that the energy sector could have either positive or negative impact on the Ghanaian economy depending on how we manage it.

Representatives from the ECG, GWCL, NEDCo, GRIDCo and EPC made various presentations to justify their proposed tariff adjustment in order to reflect their operational costs.

GNA

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