Sakyiwaa Mensah, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Tema Regional Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has told The Chronicle that the officers of the Company in the Krobo District have embarked on a series of customer engagement and education in some communities, following the installation of prepaid meters in parts of the district.
Intensifying the education sessions is to ensure that customers understand the operations of the prepaid meters.
Last Friday, for instance, the staff visited the Somanya roundabout and market where they informed the public and the customers on the general ways the prepaid meters work and how they differ from post-paid meters.
“They (staff) explained that the meters work in a similar fashion, with regards to calculating how much electricity has been consumed.
However, the major difference has to do with the prepaid meters requiring purchases for consumption, while with the post-paid meters, customers consume and pay after billing,” the Krobo ECG staff explained to the public.
“They also encouraged members of the public to desist from tampering with the meters as there are sanctions for such an act.
They also added that although these are prepaid meters, they are still monitored from time to time to ensure that they are working properly. To this end, a plea was made for ECG workers to be allowed access to check such meters whenever necessary,” she added.
Sakyiwaa Mensah said the public expressed concerns about some seldom deductions ECG made when they purchased credit, “and that was explained to them that it is called service charge which is deducted once a month.”
The service charges enable ECG to ensure that, for example, faults and customer service personnel who move to customers’ homes to rectify problems are not charged for the service.
“It also supports the company to purchase equipment needed for better service delivery. It was emphasised that this is deducted once a month and it is the same in all places ECG operates,” the Tema ECG PRO said.
On the issue of the high cost of getting separate meters, she said the public were advised to petition the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), the entity that sets prices for all of ECG’s operations. Some of the participants asked about their debt and how to go about handling it.
“They were informed that the debts will be handled on customer by customer basis, and so payment plans will be unique for each customer. They were also encouraged to plan to start servicing the debt,” she added.
She clarified to The Chronicle that the meters being installed in the Krobo District are ‘Clou and Alpha Waison’ meters, which are different brands of prepaid meters but they all work in the same way.
She explained that both meters come with a user interactive device on which customers can, as well, check for their credit balances.
The ECG in the Krobo District has installed a little over 9,000 prepaid meters, the Managing Director for the company, Samuel Mahama told a section of the Tema at Somanya a fortnight ago. He said the company looked forward to installing 20,000 of the meters in the Krobo area.
“And for this target to be successful, ECG will continue with its public education and sensitisation outreach. We will be distributing flyers as well and will entreat the media too, to assist the ECG to get the developmental news to reach our cherished and welcoming customers in the Krobo District,” Sakyiwaa Mensah concluded.