The Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG), Accra West Region, has uncovered the activities of 140 customers engaged in various forms of illegal connections.
Through their illegal activities, the customers do not pay for the electricity they consume, thereby denying the company of the much-needed revenue. Examples of illegalities identified included meter bypass, meter tampering and direct connections.
The identification and arrest of the customers were made since the company launched a month-long exercise to recover debts owed it, and to monitor the health of its meter installations in customer facilities. Per the company’s records, the customers illegally used about 868,000 kWh of electricity, translating to about GH¢1,100,000.
The amount has however been recovered.
The Public Relations Officer, ECG Accra West Region, Fred Baimbill-Johnson praised the vigilance of the field team in uncovering the illegalities.
According to him, the sophistication of the illegalities identified shows a resolve by some customers to deny the company of revenue from the electricity they use.
“Power has been disconnected to these customers. They have been surcharged for the electricity they used without paying and charged a penalty fee for engaging in the illegalities. Also, depending on the gravity of the offence, we will hand some cases over to the police for prosecution,” Mr Baimbill-Johnson said.
He added that the company hopes that these cases will serve as deterrents to other customers to desist from any acts of illegality against the company.
Staff of the ECG have since the 20th of March been on an exercise to visit all customers to demand the payment of debts owed the company and audit the health of its meter installations.
The ECG Accra West General Manager, Ing Emmanuel Akinie revealed that the company is investing heavily in technology to help identify customers who engage in illegalities.
“We have introduced some smart meter solutions on pilot basis, which give us real-time updates of what is happening on a customer premises. It signals our office once the meter-case is opened, bypassed or tampered with” he said.
Ing. Akinie signaled plans to roll out more of such smart meters to aid in the fight against illegalities.
The Accra West region has eight operational districts. These are Ablekuma, Achimota, Amasaman, Bortianor, Dansoman, Kaneshie, Korlebu and Nsawam.