Unannounced house-to-house checks by officials from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) saved the company some GH₵50million on power thefts last year.
The sweeping exercise, which is an ongoing system losses reduction intervention, saw officers of the company visiting residential apartments to fish out illegal power consumers.
“We went about communities to check every available meter, and we were able to identify if people were consuming power without paying.
“We surcharged those illegal consumers to recover our money, and we raised GH₵50million from this exercise in 2017,” Corporate Planning General Manager of ECG, Kivlyn Asante, told B&FT on the sidelines of a power outlook forum organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in Accra.
Increasing cases of power-theft remain a key commercial concern of the ECG, despite efforts to prosecute defaulters to serve as a deterrent.
Currently, the ECG is estimated to lose over 30 percent of its revenue through systems and distribution losses.
Counting on success of the random checks exercise, Ing. Asante indicated plans by the company to intensify the programme so as to guard against revenue losses.
He added: “The sweeping exercise is an ongoing programme and we hope to intensify the efforts this year; we will also scale-up the deployment of smart prepayment meters to help monitor and keep track of power consumers to boost revenue generation”.
The power outlook forum on ‘Diversifying our generation sources, strengthening the base load sources to support industrial growth’ was convened by the AGI, leading up to its planned engagement with the PURC.
It provided a platform for players in the power value chain – including the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), ECG and the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation (NPPO) – to share real issues on the ground and also help them collectively tackle certain irregularities in the power value chain.
Power situation and outlook
The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) estimates a peak power demand of 2523 megawatts for this year – assuming a GDP per capita of 6.9 percent, which is an increase of 294 megawatts compared to the annual to-date demand of 2229 megawatts.
The demand will be driven largely by plans of Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) to operate two pot-lines in the course of the year, network expansion plans of the ECG and NEDCo, and also the agreement to export 50megawatts of power to Burkina Faso.
About 958.5megawatts of power is currently unavailable as a result of fuel-supply constraints, ongoing maintenance work, and system faults.