The Public Utility Regulatory Commission(PURC) has ordered the Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG) to suspend the implementation of the new billing software following massive outcry on the move.
There were numerous complaints from residential and business customers of the ECG about suspected anomalies in their bills following the last adjustment in utility tariffs by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).
Government in the wake of the anomalies in the new Billing software and the incessant cry by customers on the introduction of the new system instructed the PURC to investigate the numerous complaints to establish its credibility or otherwise.
The users of electricity complained that the anomalies are affecting their income and operating costs, the reason they are calling on government to intervene.
The PURC following the billing problems has barred the ECG from going ahead with the implementation of the new software.
The Director of Public Affairs and External Relations of the PURC said all these anomalies have come about as a result of the implementation of the billing software.
“For instance throughout our investigation; it came to light that even migrating customer data from the old system to the new system was a problem. We couldn’t get the accurate data that was needed for the billing. Some of the bills that we interrogated, the billing cycle was 43 days instead of 28 days. The billing cycle according to law is 28 days-within the 28 days the customer should pay the bill within 14 days after the 28 days. They were billing the customers 43 days. If you’re billing me within a 43 day cycle, what then will happen is you move me to a higher tariff band -That it means I’m going to pay a higher tariff than somebody who uses less unit. so all these anomalies have come about as a result of the implementation of the new billing system,” Nana Yaa Jantuah explained in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.
Asked whether there were arrangements for refund of monies of customers who were shortchanged due to the problem at hand, Nana Yaa Jantuah said the re-billing it directed the ECG to embark on will address all such problems including over-billing.
“We’ve asked the ECG to do a re-billing and it encompasses everything- It encompasses correcting a new bill for customers, refunding when people have paid above what they are supposed to pay. so we are saying they should do a re-billing and once you do a re-billing all these things will come up and it pre-supposes people should be re-funded monies, if they were over-billed.”