Story: Yaw Takyi
The Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd (ECG), Accra West Region, has uncovered the activities of 52 customers engaged in various forms of illegal connections.
The Company has also succeeded in retrieving GH¢750,000.00 worth of 550,000kWh of electricity illegally used by the customers.
Dr Mark Owusu Ansah, the Revenue Protection Manager, ECG, Accra West Region, said through their illegal activities, the customers did not pay for the electricity they used denying the Company much needed revenue.
Examples of illegalities identified included meter bypass, meter tampering and direct connections.
He said the identification and arrest of the customers was made in the first ten days of the Company’s ongoing exercise to retrieve all debts owed it, and to monitor the health of its meter installations.
Dr Ansah said per the Company’s records, the customers illegally used about 550,000kWh of electricity translating to about GHc750,000 (plus taxes and administrative charges).
He praised the vigilance of the field team in uncovering the illegalities, adding that, the sophistication of the illegalities identified shows a resolve by some customers to deny the Company of revenue from the electricity they use.
“Power to these customers has been disconnected, they have been surcharged for the electricity they used without paying and charged a penalty fee for engaging in the illegalities. Also, depending on the gravity of the offense, we will hand some cases over to the police for prosecution, ” he said.
Dr Ansah said staff of the ECG had since March 20, 2023, been on an exercise to visit all customers to demand the payment of debts owed the Company and audit the health of its meter installations.
Mr Emmanuel Akinie, the ECG Accra West General Manager, said the Company was investing heavily in technology to help identify customers who had engaged in illegalities.
“We have introduced some smart meter solutions on pilot basis, which give us real-time updates of what is happening on a customer premises. It signals our office once the meter-case is opened, bypassed or tampered with,” he said.
Mr Akinie said plans were underway to roll out more of such smart meters to aid in the fight against illegalities.
The Accra West region has eight operational districts. These are Ablekuma, Achimota, Amasaman, Bortianor, Dansoman, Kaneshie, Korlebu and Nsawam.