Reduction In Electricity Tariffs
| Updated Mar 13, 2018 at 5:02pm
NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE DOWNWARD REVIEW OF ELECTRICITY TARIFFS AS ANNOUNCED BY THE PURC
The downward review of electricity tariffs came as a surprise to many consumers because such reviews are usually characterised by upward adjustments. This is because many a time, when the PURC announces review of tariffs, it goes up, rather than coming down.
According to the PURC, residential customers are to enjoy 17.5% reduction, non-residential 30%, special load customers 25%, while the mines are also to enjoy 10% reduction. The percentage reduction is an improvement of what was announced by President Akufo-Addo in January, this year. The objective for the tariff review includes ensuring efficient and equitable tariffs, making them relevant to the current socio-economic development, and also ensuring that business moves on as expected. In announcing the review, the PURC was guided by consumer and investor interests, economic development, revenue requirements, natural gas prices, renegotiation of power agreements, as well as, prudent and efficient costs of the operation of the utility companies. The announcement has come as welcome news for the consumer as well as investors, both local and foreign.
Energy is foundational to socio-economic development so when it becomes over-expensive, it kills the spirit of business and thereby destroys the desire to pursue smooth and uninterrupted economic development programme. The country is encouraging the youth to go into entrepreneurial development and thereby help the private sector of the economy to thrive but all these greatly depends on adequate supply as well as efficient use of available energy. Towards this end, there is the need to ensure a balance between consumer and investor interests on one hand and revenue generation by the companies on the other.
The downward review of electricity tariffs is good but all categories of consumers will need to go by the principle and practice of energy efficiency. This calls for awareness creation on the part of everyone in the country. Electrical gadgets and devices used by consumers ought to adhere to energy efficiency and conservation so as to help in the maximisation of the use of the amount of energy at the disposal of the nation. The importance of energy efficiency and conservation of power in Ghana cannot be over-emphasised since energy or power serves as the backbone for many economic activities. Energy conservation and efficiency is therefore a concept and practice that we need to embrace in the country. It is important to note by all consumers that the reduction in the tariffs is good and most welcome but the issue of applying energy efficiency methods cannot be overlooked. This is because if energy is utilised in an inefficient manner it leads to avoidable increase in costs and brings about unnecessary burden on those who consume the energy, a situation that will make it difficult for the Electricity Company of Ghana or government to agree to tariff reduction. The issue of energy efficiency has, therefore, become very necessary as part of the national life of Ghanaians in order to continue to develop in a manner that will help the energy sector to cope with the supply of the needs of people in the country. This is what the nation needs for sustainable development so as to be able to implement a smooth, desirable economic programme that would generate local and foreign investor confidence consistent with national economic progress and prosperity.
BY: DR KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATION, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY.