The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has ordered the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG ) to suspend the implementation of its ‘faulty’ new billing software until further notice.
The commission has also ordered the ECG to appoint an independent billing software expert to audit the new billing system and present a report to the commission within 10 working days.
These were amongst other orders issued by the PURC to the ECG following several complaints of overbilling by consumers of electricity.
According to the commission, the decision was reached after a thorough investigation into the matter through its Monitoring exercise which culminated into visits to specific areas and also interrogation of bills presented to consumers by the ECG and it concluded that “there was an anomaly in the initial implementation of the new billing software.”
A statement from the commission said “ECG is billing Customers over irregular Periods from 18 days – 43days which are in contravention of the 28-day billing cycle for the Customer.
“Some Customers are billed above the PURC approved Service Charge and the Approved Tariff by the PURC in December 2015
“ECG is billing Customers who have been disconnected over a period of six months with the accumulated debt figure instead of their monthly actual consumption
“More than 62% of Complaints received by the PURC in the first quarter of 2016 were on overbilling as compared to the previous year (18%). Customer Billing Data shows clearly that the ECG has challenges with migrating customer information from the old Billing System to the new Billing System (Software)
“Investigations also revealed that District Frontline Staff who are entrusted to issue customer Bills do not have the adequate technical capacity to accurately use the new Billing software, hence, the billing anomalies customers are experiencing.
“With the new Billing Software, the Billing Cycle of some customers is over a period of four years (2015-2019).”
The PURC in conclusion said “failure to comply with these orders will result in sanctions against the ECG. The PURC is urging all consumers who are experiencing any issues to do with overbilling to report to the PURC.”
By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana