Electricity relief package to cost GHc1bn – Energy Minister

Cumulatively, government is projecting to spend GHc 1 billion in order to absorb the electricity bills of Ghanaians from April to June, 2020, the Minister for Energy, Mr. John Peter Amewu has revealed.

This forms part of measures to relief consumers of a particular category, to make up for lost income following the coronavirus lockdown in the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi areas, which was announced by the President Akufo-Addo some days ago.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, April 16, 2020, the Energy Minister noted that the package will cover over 86 percent of individual consumers and industries on the national grid.

Giving a breakdown of the distribution of the relief package, Mr. Amewu said customers across the three utility providers – Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Volta River Authority (VRA) and Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) –will be positively affected by the relief.

Most lifeline customers in Ghana use one television set, two light bulbs, a table top refrigerator and a fan for a limited number of hours.

ECG’s customer population of one million (calculated in terms of metres) means that “at the current tariff level, government is absorbing almost an amount of GHc 8.5 million per month. For non-lifeline customers of which 2,780,886 are residential and 1,608 are special low tariff customers, a 50 percent discount on their electricity bill will translate to GHc 235. 4 million per month.

“The total relief for ECG customers per month based the estimated revenue is therefore GHc 244 million translating into GHc 732 million for the three months,” Mr Amewu explained.

The relief for all NEDCo customers on the other hand translates to about GHc 47 million per month, totaling GHc 141 million for the three-month period.

“This comprises a relief of about GHc 10.9 million per month or GHc 32.9 million for three months for a population of 5,069 life customers.”

For NEDCo’s non-life customers, who make 60.67 percent of its population, government will be paying GHc 36 million per month or GHc 108 million for the three months.

Government is providing a total relief of GHc 55.5 million per month for customers of the VRA. This figure translates to GHc 166.4 million for three months.

“The VRA relief comprises 12 mining customers at GHc 42.4 million per month or a total of GHc 127.2 million for three months and a GHc 4.8 million monthly relief totaling GHc 14.4 million for the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO),” Mr. Amewu said.

He further said that the bills for other manufacturing customers like Aluworks, Diamond Cement, Savanna Cement, Enclave Power Limited stands at GHc 7.9 million per month, totaling GHc 23.7 million for the three-month period.

“Overall, the government is providing a cumulative relief of an amount equivalent of GHc 1 billion approximately covering a customer population of about 4.8 million metres across Ghana for the three-month period,” he said.