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ECG lied about Transformer overload being responsible for power outages – PURC

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission has slammed the Electricity Company of Ghana for offering “not factually accurate” reasons for the erratic and haphazard power outages suffered by consumers in recent times.

The ECG had claimed that overloaded transformers (as many as 630) were responsible for the power supply trips to homes and workplaces. It also blamed the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), of making unplanned and eleventh-hour demand to cut supply, the reason also it could not provide a load management timetable to guide consumers on when not to expect supply.

But in its report on the outages attributed by ECG to the alleged 630 overloaded transformers during peak hours, the PURC said its analysis of the data submitted by ECG did not prove to be the case.

“Analysis of the data submitted showed that out of 715 transformer details submitted, 31 were loaded less than 70%, 595 were loaded between 70-100% and 89 were loaded above 100%,” said the PURC.

“The data submitted by ECG was further compared to the total outage data provided by ECG for the period January to March 18, 2024. The Commission established that 647 outage incidents occurred between 7 pm and 11 pm. Of these 647 outage incidents, only 3 were planned outages relating to transformers. The analyses showed that the majority of the outages between 7 pm to 11 pm were as a result of load management operations by GRIDCo and faults unrelated to overloaded transformers.

“ECG’s attribution of the outages between 7 pm and 11 pm to transformer overload was therefore not factually accurate,” maintained the PURC, which said it is already investigating the causes of these outages.

In a related development, board members of ECG who served in office from 1st January to 18th March 2024, are to pay a regulatory charge of about GHȼ5.9 million (Five Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Ghana Cedis) in fines for superintending over power outages without any notification to power consumers between January and March this year.

The board includes the ECG MD, Samuel Mahama Dubik and eight others. The current Deputy Energy Minister, Herbert Krapah chairs the board, but he won’t be affected as his tenure falls outside the period of the regulatory orders.

Keli Gadzekpo, who resigned as board chairman three weeks ago, will be affected by this fine. Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh and five other individuals are all affected.



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