The Director of Research and Communication of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC), Dr. Kofi Obutey has called on utility consumers to repose trust in the commission to protect their interests.
Dr. Obutey assured that PURC takes consumer complaints seriously and urges consumers to test their system to see whether it works or not rather than hanging on assumptions and speculations that PURC favors the Utility Service Providers.
He complained on 3FM that one of the commission’s biggest challenges is wrongful accusation of bias by both Utility Companies and Utility Consumers. “Utilities always accuse us of always siding with consumers whereas consumers also accuse us of always being on the side of Utilities. So the role is quite a difficult one for us” he said.
“When you report a damaged appliance to us, it will take about 5 days to have it resolved. We will arrange a meeting between you, the consumer and the utility service provider. Once it is established by our technical team that it is the fault of the Utility Company, the appliance is replaced or an amount of money is paid to compensate the consumer for the damage caused to his or her property,” Dr. Obutey challenges consumers to test the PURC to see if they are effective or not.
The PURC’s Director of Research disclosed that the commission in 2021 was able to get a little over GHS 5.7 million paid as compensation to some customers of ECG and Ghana Water Company upon findings of investigations of complaints.
Also, an amount of GHS 548,383 was recouped for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) over illegal connections and non-payment of utility bills.
He asks consumers to note that they have rights and responsibilities to ensure improved services by the utilities providers. “Consumers should be responsible in how they use public utilities and pay for the services they enjoy”
The host of 3FM Sunrise Morning Show, Alfred Ocansey asked Dr. Obutey what consumers who pay their water bills every month and yet are not receiving water should do and the Director of Research advised that such consumers should report to the utility first for them to check the problem and if not satisfied then can come to PURC. PURC will then set up an investigative body to probe into the matter to ensure that the issue is resolved.
“For all you know, there is a blockade in your pipeline or someone has tapped into your line for that reason you are not receiving water at your end” he said
By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana