The government set to strip ECG of its billing, and collection powers – Egyapa Mercer

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The Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer says plans are far advanced regarding the outsourcing of the billing and collection role of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to a private entity.

According to Egyapa Mercer, a consultant has been appointed and is working with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on the modalities following the approval of the cabinet.

Speaking on the JoyNews national dialogue on the power sector, the NPP MP for Sekondi said the policy has already been piloted in some regions.

“Discussions are far advanced and of course typically you will have resistance from our friends in the ECG. But it is something that I believe will help them.

“We have tasked them to put in boundary meters as a first step that they are working on. Of course, the digitalization programme that they have also rolled out is also helping with the collections.

“So when they can put the boundary meters in all their operational districts and know the volume of power that is going to every district then you can introduce private sector people to bill and collect the revenue for the power that is coming to that enclave,” he said.

The revelation follows the ongoing intermittent power cuts across the country which many have attributed to ECG’s inability to pay its power suppliers.

According to experts, the core of ECG’s financial woes lies in the imbalance between revenue generation and operational costs.

In November 2023, the Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had recorded an increase in its losses. The company recorded a total of GH¢2, 050,373,143.47 as collection losses as of September 2023.

Collection loss is the income that is not received due to non-payment, delinquency, or bad debt from tenants or customers.

The amount is against a total of GH¢2,448,770,084.34 loss recorded by the company in the year 2022.

Again, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is grappling with a colossal debt of $1.5 billion due to its failure to meet its financial obligations to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and its inability to settle bills for purchased electricity in full.

Touching on this, the Deputy Energy Minister stressed that the constant revenue losses recorded by ECG cannot be allowed to continue.

He was optimistic that the privatization of the collection and billing powers of ECG would help the company to generate revenue and pay off its debts.

“This is something that they have already piloted,” he added.


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