The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in the Western Region recovered GH¢2.5 million from illegal power connections from businesses and residents in 2019.
“In 2019, the revenue protection unit recovered a total of GH¢2,626,886. Out of this amount, the businesses and persons caught engaging in illegal mining have paid to ECG GH¢2,518,766. This is more than 90 per cent of the total recoveries we made. However, efforts are underway for the rest to be paid,” John Quayson-Dadzie, regional Revenue Protection Manager of ECG said.
The amount was recovered from illegal power connection activities such as unauthorized service connections, meter by-passes, direct connections and meter tempering.
The Revenue Protection Unit of the Western Region of the Electricity Company of Ghana in the 2019 visited close to 35,000 meters and screened close to 34,000 of them.
The visit was to identify consumers who have engaged in illegal power connection, arrest and prosecute them.
The team came across 18 unauthorized service connections, 108 meter by-passes, 14 direct connections and 41 meter-tempering cases, all constituting illegal power connection.
“If you put together the number of illegal power connections that we recovered, we were able to also save 2,562,606 Kilowatt hours (KWh). It will interest you to know that majority of the those engaged in illegal power connections were from the hospitality industry.”
Mr. Quayson-Dadzie issued a stern warning to persons who are engaging in illegal power connections to desist from the acts or when found will be made to pay the highest fine.
“The only way ECG can become viable, the only way your power will continue to stay on is when you pay for the power you use. So, we will appeal to our consumers to help us serve them better by paying their electricity bills. However, anyone who will not want to pay for the power he or she is using, then he or she should be prepared to pay the highest fine when caught.”
He also encouraged the general public not to hesitate to report any business or person engaging in illegal power connection as there is a reward for such whistleblowers.
“If you think your neighbor is stealing power, don’t shy away from reporting the person to us. You can go to any of our service centers. The recoveries that we make, if it is established that indeed the customer you have reported is stealing power, we will give you six percent of the amount paid by the customer you reported”.
By Eric Yaw Adjei