ECG clamps down on ‘fake’ meter users at Upper West Akim

ecg meters
Prepaid meter.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has warned the public to desist from purchasing ‘fake’ meters from unknown individuals.

According to the service provider, it is the only institution mandated by law to provide meters to the public, adding that, anybody who engaged in such acts would be made to face the law.

Dr Mark Owusu Ansah, the Regional Revenue Protection Manager, Accra West ECG, when the company embarked on an exercise to clamp down on ‘fake’ meters at Adeiso, in the Upper West Akim District of the Eastern Region.

The exercise formed part of a two-weeks campaign to rid the system of fake meters and regularise such meter users to maximise revenue mobilisation.

It was carried out by the Accra West Region ECG in collaboration with the ECG Nsawam district office and the police.

During the exercise, the team uncovered two main types of meters regarded as ‘fake,’ with inscriptions “Property of Ministry of Power and Property of Ministry of Energy.”

Dr Ansah said the company was concerned with the influx of fake meters in the system, a situation which was negatively impacting revenue mobilisation of the power provider.

He said such fake meters allowed customers to use power free as they were unable to record any consumption.

“The whole of the meter case is empty. What is in it is only this one and this one is not any circuit that can measure energy usage, it is only a display board. Within the metre is a bar that connects the output and input terminal directly.

So, in effect, these meters as seen it is like there is no meter at all, it is a direct connection. Whoever is using this meter is the same as whoever has connected power directly and is using it for free. This meter cannot generate even one kilowatt hour of energy usage,” he explained.

“In terms of energy, our losses are not a secret, it is hovering around 30% plus, and all these things contribute to it because wherever we were about, you came to the field with us, wherever we removed these meters, none of them can even tell us they One Cedi to ECG since those meters were installed,” the Revenue Protection Manager added.

In 2021, the Accra West Region alone lost close to GH¢4 million in nine months through illegal connection activities.

Illegal connection activities robbed the company of some 3.9 million kilowatts per hour (3.9mkWh) of power between the months of January and September 2021, resulting in a revenue loss of GH¢3.9 million to the company.

He said the company was, therefore, pursuing people behind the production and installation of such fake meters, assuring that it would not renege in its efforts to sanitise the system.

“We are removing them from the field, and we are trying to reach the syndicates, and to stop the bleeding, we are encouraging the public, with the greatest of respect, to desist from people who come to them that ‘I can give you a meter.’

“It is only ECG and through the SHEP programme that every customer can get a meter. If you take the pain to engage anybody privately in your home to get a meter, the moratorium period or management give is over. When we get you, you will have to face the law,” he cautioned.

He urged the public to disabuse their minds that it was cumbersome to get meters from the offices of the ECG, saying “people will say it is cumbersome to get meters from ECG, but he will tell you, I can get some for you. So, if it is cumbersome, how come he can get it and you can’t.”

Giving more details about the two-week campaign, Mr. Fred Baimbill-Johnson, the Public Relations Officer, Accra West Region, said the exercise was taking place in 12 other communities.

The communities are Daaman, Sakyikrom, Amoakrom, Duadekye, Ntoaso, Kofisah and Newton, are Akwamu, Oparekrom, Nkyenen-kyene, Amanfrom and Adeiso, all in the Nsawam district.

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