The Central Regional Office of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has resolved 96.47 per cent of a total of 2,475 complaints lodged by both consumers and utility service providers since March 2020.
The majority of the complaints made up of 1,543 cases were made against the ECG, while 850 and 82 cases were reported against the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and consumers respectively through walk-ins, phone calls, writing, and social media and field visits.
Madam Kesewaa Apenteng-Addo, the Regional Manager of PURC said the ECG’s cases were mostly on metering, payments, billing, and unlawful disconnection, among others.
It also retrieved GH¢18,000 from the utility companies for consumers for wrong billing and GH¢35,000 was received from consumers from the utility companies.
The Commission has consequently, encouraged all persons with utility-related challenges to file complaints with the office, assuring them of a swift resolution.
Madam Apenteng-Addo was speaking at the maiden exhibition event of PURC’s Central Regional office to showcase its achievements as part of activities marking its two years of existence in the region.
The exhibition was to give consumers insight into the operations of the office and as well render an account of how the Commission had maintained the balance between consumers and the utility service providers.
The event also provided the platform for participants who included assembly members, the clergy, the media and community members to ask questions on the operations of PURC and file complaints on water and electricity situations in their communities.
The Regional Manager explained that immediately one lodged any complaint with the PURC, the necessary attention was given and finally resolved.
“Now, we want to go deep within the grassroots so that people will be informed about the work of the Commission and know where to go in case they are dissatisfied with any utility services”, she said.
Madam Apenteng-Addo intimated that her outfit had over the years educated some 11,445 consumers via various platforms such as social media, traditional media, flyers, mailboxes, and physical contacts in their communities.
A major issue that took centre stage at the exhibition was complaints about brownish water that flow through the taps of consumers, but Madam Apenteng-Addo assured us that the GWCL was about to flush the entire system and that PURC was closely monitoring the situation.
For his part, Dr Ishmael Ackah, Executive Secretary, PURC charged utility providers to inform consumers ahead of planned maintenance works to help them plan and urged consumers to desist from illegal connections.
“Let us connect legally if we need water or power and let us pay our bills. If you have a very huge bill and you cannot pay, reach out to the utility companies and PURC so that we can agree with them to have a payment plan. That is better than not paying at all for you to be disconnected,” he admonished.
He further challenged consumers to learn their rights, take a keen interest in the services they received and make sure they performed their responsibilities.
She urged the Commission to set achievable goals and accomplish them and build more interpersonal relationships with consumers in a bid to improve the service delivery of utility providers in the region.
“The Central Regional Coordinating Council will continue to collaborate and support you to ensure that your goals and objectives are fully accomplished,” she pledged.
PURC was established in 1997 by an Act of Parliament, Act 538 to regulate the provision of electricity and water utility services within the country.