New payment plan for acquiring new meters in Upper East – PURC proposes

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The cold store operators say the newly installed meters run faster than the previous ones

The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) wants the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) to come up with a special payment structure for residents in the Upper East Region seeking to acquire new meters.

According to the PURC, people should not be denied access to new service connections because they cannot fully pay for new meters and as such should be made to pay for the meters in instalments.

Acquisition of new meters, power supply fluctuations and customer complaint resolution remain key concerns of most residents in the region.

Speaking to Citi News in Bolgatanga on a working visit, Executive Secretary of PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, proffered that; NEDCo should have a flexible payment system for the acquisition of new meters to ameliorate the plight of consumers.

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“Our Upper East office conducted a study and one of the findings of that study was that, whilst NEDco inform customers [that], there are challenges with the period between when you apply for a connection and when you get the service. But we have been assured by the management of NEDco that, they have deployed technology using GIS to map out customers to know where they are applying from to serve them.”

“We are also proposing that the new connection charges may be high for some customers so can we have maybe a payment plan that if it is GH¢2,000.00, and I can’t afford at a go, can I pay that in instalments so that I can also have electricity? They (Bolga NEDco) have received our proposal, but we will send it to the management of NEDCo to see how some of these are implemented”.

Dr. Ackah, also reassured customers that, the commission’s reforms to enhance service delivery will improve customer responsiveness by utility providers.

He reiterated that, the commission’s Act (L.I 2413) provides guarantees for customers and utility providers rights and responsibilities to ensure responsiveness and efficiency in service delivery.

“We (PURC) also have an app which customers can use to even report complaints and we are decentralizing our processes as PURC so that we have presence in all regions to address customers’ concerns. We are also collaborating with utilities such as NEDco to set up WhatsApp platforms so customers can send their complaints to us, we have periods within which we have to address them.”

“So, we are doing all this to ensure that PURC educates customers but also ensure that utilities provide the service that customers need, and we encourage them to be efficient in all that they do”.

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