PURC fines ECG board members GH₵5.8m for power cut violations

0
103
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has imposed a fine on members of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) board who served between January 1 and March 18, 2024.

The fine, totaling five million, eight hundred and sixty-eight thousand Ghana cedis (GH₵5,868,000.00), comes as a consequence of the board’s violation of Regulation 39 of L.I. 2413, which mandates notifying consumers beforehand of any power interruptions.

Fines for lack of transparency in power cuts

Those sanctioned include Keli Gadzekpo, who resigned as Board Chair in March, and the current ECG Managing Director, Samuel Dubik Mahama.

The board’s failure to issue a public load-shedding timetable by April 2, 2024, as directed by the PURC in a March 18 letter, is the basis for the penalty. The letter also demanded the ECG submit details on planned outages undertaken between January and March.

An analysis of the submitted data by the PURC revealed that 4,142 power outages occurred during the period. Only 165, representing a mere 3.98% of the total, were classified as planned outages by the ECG.

Further examination showed that public notices accompanied only 40 of these planned outages, leaving the remaining 125 without any explanation to consumers.

Non-compliance with regulations leads to penalty

The PURC investigation found that 38 of the 40 notifications failed to adhere to the mandatory three-day statutory notice stipulated by Regulation 39 of L.I. 2413. In essence, the ECG disregarded legal requirements in 163 instances of planned outages.

The regulatory body is imposing a fine of 3,000 penalty units on the ECG for each violation related to the timetable directive.

However, acknowledging the ownership structure of the ECG, the PURC has redirected the penalty towards the board members.

Rationale for fining board members

The decision to hold the board members accountable stems from the potential negative impact on service quality if the fine were levied directly on the ECG.  

The PURC explained, “payment from ECG’s revenue would have a rebounding adverse effect on quality of service and consumers who pay tariffs to the company.”

The nine board members have until May 30, 2024, to settle the fine into “a dedicated fuel account under the joint control of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance.”

Kindly share your articles with us via ekuzoamedia@gmail.com

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here