The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has started implementing the three-month electricity bill relief announced by the government to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on customers.
This was disclosed to the Daily Graphic by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu, in an interview.
The Ghanaian newspaper had gone to find out from the utility provider how it was implementing the social intervention directive given by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on April 9, 2020.
To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizenry, the President had, on Thursday, April 9, 2020, announced the absorption of the entire electricity bills of consumers who consume up to 50 KWh, while residential and commercial consumers were to benefit from a 50 per cent discount of their bills.
The three-month electricity bill relief announced by the government will, according to the Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, cost the country GH¢1 billion.
Checks revealed that the utility company had rolled out the intervention programme last Friday, May 1, but not without challenges, as some customers complained about not getting their benefits, as promised.
While some said they had received the relief package, others expressed disappointment because their benefits did not reflect.
Some prepaid customers who spoke to the paper said although they had gone to vending points to purchase electricity, they did not see any such relief on their bills.
One prepaid customer told the Daily Graphic that he had bought GH¢20 worth of credit at a vending point at Korle Bu in the Greater Accra Region on Saturday, May 2, 2020 and got an additional GH¢20, an indication that the relief had reflected.
However, another customer residing at Dansoman in Accra said he had bought GH¢500 worth of credit in March this year and had hoped to get GH¢250 worth of power as his 50 per cent discount, but was disappointed, as he only got GH¢40 as relief.
Another customer at Adenta said while she was yet to receive any relief, her bill had gone up.
She said she received notification from the ECG app that she had consumed GH¢753 within a week, describing that as alarming because for a whole month, and with a family of five, the highest usually spent on electricity was GH¢200.
“What has changed so much that the consumption rate has more than doubled in just one week?” she enquired.