THE Accra West Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has recovered GH¢750,000 — including taxes and administrative charges — from 52 customers found to have engaged in illegal connections.
Per the company’s records, the customers illegally used up to about 550,000 kilowatts hour (kWh) of electricity.
The illegalities included meter bypass, meter tampering and direct connection to power sources.
According to the ECG Accra West Region, officials uncovered the illegalities in the first 10 days of the ongoing exercise intended to retrieve debts owed the company and to monitor the health of its meter installations in customer facilities.
The Revenue Protection Manager of the ECG Accra West Region, Dr Mark Owusu-Ansah, lauded the vigilance of the field team in uncovering the illegalities.
He said the sophistication of the infractions showed the resolve by some customers to deny the company of revenue from the power they used.
“Power to these customers has been disconnected; they have been surcharged for the electricity they used without paying, and charged a penalty for engaging in the illegalities.
“Also, depending on the gravity of the offence, we will hand some cases over to the police for prosecution,” he said.
Dr Owusu-Ansah added that the company hoped that those cases would serve as deterrent to other customers to discourage any tendencies of illegal use of power.
Since March 20 this year, staff of the ECG have embarked on an exercise to visit all customers to demand the payment of debts owed the company, and to audit the health of its meter installations.
The Accra West General Manager of the ECG, Emmanuel Akinie, said the company was investing heavily in technology to enable it identify customers who engaged in illegalities.
“We have introduced some smart meter solutions on a pilot basis, which give us real-time updates of what is happening on a customer’s premises.
It signals our office once the meter-case is opened, bypassed or tampered with,” he explained.
Mr Akinie said there were plans to roll out more of such smart meters to aid in the fight against wrongdoings.
The Accra West Region has eight operational districts.