Ghanaians may have to brace themselves to pay more for utility as tariffs are expected to increase from next month.
According to a report by Daily Graphic, the upward adjustment of bills, once announced, will take effect on Thursday, September 1.
This will be the first review of utility tariffs since 2017.
This comes after the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) had carried out nationwide consultations on proposals it received from the utility companies.
It is also coming at a time when Ghana is recording the cheapest mobile data price in Africa, indicating that while power and water bills are increasing, internet prices remain relatively low.
Daily Graphic reported that the new tariffs will not be across the board, which means the rates will depend on the reasons and proofs adduced by the utilities and the verification the commission has done.
The report also revealed that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), such as food joints and salons, would be protected from paying “punitive” tariffs.
In May 2022, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) demanded a 148% increase in tariff.
The proposal from the power distributor, submitted to the PURC, wanted the adjustment to cover the period 2019 and 2022.
On its part, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) also demanded a 334% increase in tariff. The GWCL in its proposal said over the years, the approved tariffs have not been fully cost-reflective.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) has also proposed 37%, with the Ghana Grid Company Ltd (GRIDCo) proposing 48%
Other proposals were 38% from the only private power distributor, Enclave Power, and 113% increase over the existing tariffs of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo).
The survey indicated that 44% of respondents thought the current electricity tariffs were not proportionate with quality of service received from the electricity utilities.
They based their reason on the frequent voltage fluctuation and poor customer service delivery among other reasons.
On electricity tariffs, 42% of the respondents rated prevailing tariffs as fair, while 55% rated them as high.
Consequently, 41% of respondents rated prevailing water tariffs as fair, while 57% rated them as high.