Utility tariffs outrageous

Utility tariffs outrageous

Consumers are paying more for water and power

Dear Editor

 The recent increment in electricity and water tariffs as announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) comes as a surprise to some of us.

The average end-user tariff for electricity has been raised by 18.36 per cent for the second quarter of 2023, adding on to an almost 30 per cent increase in the first quarter.

According to the PURC, “Utility companies are un­der-covering and require an upward adjustment of their rates in order to keep the lights on.”

It cited factors such as the cost of electricity, increased volume cost of chemicals for raw water treatment, the Ghana Cedi/US Dollar exchange rate and inflation, as part of the reasons for the increase.

A similar increment was done in February 2023, push­ing electricity up by 29.96 per cent across board for all customers, while water tariff was increased by 8.3 per cent.

The recent hikes would certainly increase the eco­nomic burden on citizens. Sachet water is now selling at 50 pesewas and traders are planning to increase the unit price further due to the new adjustment in tariffs.

The quarterly adjustment formula being implement­ed by the PURC means that we are likely to see further increase in tariffs by close of the year.

Already, commercial drivers are reluctant in im­plementing the 10 per cent reduction in transport fares and we have now been hit with increase in utility tariffs.

I believe it is time the government took a second look at the quarterly adjust­ment in utility tariffs. While at it, one would expect that increase in tariffs would come with better service delivery from utility service providers but that has not always been the case.

When increases are made, utility providers must ensure that consumers enjoy unin­terrupted supply of water and electricity all year round. The PURC must see to this but not only be interested in approving outrageous tariffs.

By Edwin Gyamfi, Odumase Krobo

Eastern Region

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