Ghanaians will have to brace themselves up to pay for more for electricity consumption, as electricity tariff is expected to go up soon, the African Center for Energy Policy has revealed.
This is due to the obsolete equipment that the Ghana GRID Company (GRIDCo) is repairing and upgrading some across the country
“There is no debate about that. This is a major tariff review year, so PURC I can imagine the difficult situation they may be in, where the grid is not stable and yet you have to review the tariff”, Ben Boakye, Executive Director of ACEP told Evans Mensah, host of PM Express on Joy News.
“It’s going to be a very tough decision for PURC to take. I can guarantee that tariff would go up significantly. If it doesn’t go up then the government has to raise money, but I didn’t see it in the budget”, he further said.
Mr Boakye bemoaned the lack of investments in the sector over the years, which he attributed to the recent power outages.
“We know that lack of investments into the transmission system is what is occasioning the trips that we are seeing today, and it’s been beckoning for a while. I mean we [ACEP} have maintained that electricity is business, so you have to treat it as such and allow the value chain to be able to pay for itself.”
“You generate, you transmit, you distribute, you raise money at that end to feed the whole industry [power]. And for so long we’ve been struggling to pull money from the distribution-end to be able to pay for transmission and generation. And that problem is really what we have to deal with, and the commitment to deal with that hasn’t really been enough”, Mr Boakye emphasized.
Several institutions including government agencies are hugely indebted to GRIDCo, a situation that has affected its balance sheet and thus complicating its operations.
“So GRIDCo is financially stressed and you heard him [Communications Manager of GRIDCo] mention, it is a foreign intervention that is actually putting GRIDCo infrastructure on live support. Without that, the system cannot sustain itself and it’s not sustainable”, Mr Boakye said
“We’re not going to have donors always giving you money to buy transformers, and extending transmission and improving your system. And I think we can refer to government’s own data on challenges that GRIDCo has, and I think they have to open up this time around for us to see how we resolved this before it cascades and becomes difficult for us to resolve”, he further pointed out
“In government own data, the capacitor band which ensures that we have relatively stability on the grid; the ones we have currently, only 28 percent functions. Out of almost a 1000 megawatts we have only about 280MW there whereabouts functioning” he noted.
GRIDCO has already indicated it is in discussions with other stakeholders particularly the Electricity Company of Ghana to come out with a time table that will ration power.
When it takes off, it will continue till probably July, according to GRIDCo’s timelines.