The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has begun a one- week revenue mobilisation targeted at mainly residential and non-residential customers in its operational areas.
The exercise, which ends on Friday, June 2, 2023, is aimed at retrieving over GhC2 billion from indebted customers.
Under the initiative, the ECG is deploring over 4,000 staff to the premises of customers to retrieve money owe it.
The Director of Communications of the ECG, William Boateng, who made this known to the Daily Graphic yesterday, said the exercise would also be used to test a new software application by the company to capture persons who had used power illegally on its database.
Between March 20 and April 20 this year, the ECG embarked on a revenue mobilisation exercise to recoup all debts owed it.
At the end of the exercise, the company recovered GH¢3.1 billion out of the targeted GH¢5.7 billion.
Mr Boateng noted that after the one month successful revenue mobilisation which saw the mobilisation of GH¢3.1 billion , the board had given management an approval to roll-out the one week programme beginning May 29, 2023 to Friday, June 2, 2022 to retrieve money owed it by residents and non-residents.
“This particular one-week exercise would not concentrate on special load (SLT) tariff customers.
It means that we are excluding the SLT; companies and industries.
This is because we have a taskforce already in place which is concentrating on the SLTs.
So, already it is taking care of the SLTs for us,” he said.
The residential and the non-residential customers, he said, comprised persons using electricity for commercial activities like operating shops, saloons, supermarkets, cold stores and babering facilities, adding that “these are small businesses that fall under its commercial operations although they are not SLTFs which are much bigger and consume a huge amount of power”.
According to the ECG Director of Communications, the revenue mobilisation exercise was also being used to test-run an application by the company to capture other persons that were not in the data of the ECG.
“So if you don’t have a meter and you are using electricity, you have done illegal connection and we would regularise you instantly and then put you in the system and on a flat rate to start paying as a customer of ECG,” he said.
“Unlike previously where we would have to disconnect you and then you come to our office, we surcharge you … and after that if the customer pays and then decides not to use the electricity again but would still go and steal, that would not happen again.
“So long as you are using the electricity we would regularise you,” he emphasised.
Asked whether it meant there would be no punitive measures for engaging in such illegal activity, he said the company would determine how it would go about it.
The idea behind the new exercise, he said, was that the company did not want anybody in its operational area to consume electricity without paying.
Again, Mr Boateng said after the exercise, the company would next week launch the flat rate system, where people who did not have meters but had paid, would be given flat rates to pay.
“By next week, we are going to launch a flat rate system.
We have customers who have paid but don’t have meters and have been waiting.
What we want to do is that if you want electricity and you apply and we don’t have meters and the customer wants the flat rate, we would look at the size of your building and all your electrical appliances and give you a flat rate.
If you want to wait for the meter too, we would do that,” he said.
That, he said, would replace the previous situation where people paid and had to wait for months with ‘goro’ boys also taking advantage of the situation.
He said staff who would be undertaking the revenue mobilisation would have their identification cards for verification by customers.
He also said there was an application with a staff portal to also check as well.
“In fact, staff have been directed that if the customer requests their identity, they must make their details available so that he/she would give them all the support and unfettered access in terms of work at their place,” he said.
He warned that in the course of the exercise, there would be disconnections and, therefore, charged customers to settle their indebtedness to the company so that it could have the revenue to also pay the independent power producers, among other things.