Residents of the New Juaben Municipality are crying foul over what they describe as cheating by the Electricity Company of Ghana in the implementation of the pre-paid meter system.
Some have threatened to demonstrate against the company, especially on the high run off of recharge units.
To break the ECG’s monopoly, the residents have suggested that government should allow other companies to sell power to promote competition.
According them, when they purchased the units for the prepaid meters it did not take the number of days recorded on the meters before the units got exhausted.
Giving an example one aggrieved resident, Madam Akua Addobea said she bought GH˘20 worth of units on October 4 but when she slotted the card into the meter it read GH˘17.26 and on the third day the meter went off.
She said she reported the case to the ECG officials but all that she was told was, “there is a fault in your meter, we will come later,” and that was the end.
Some meat dealers at the central business district also complained bitterly about high electricity tariff which has caused their businesses to run down, saying charges for storage of meat in cold stores have gone up.
Iced water and soft drinks sellers, too have resorted to using iced blocks bought from the cold stores instead of using their own fridges which are more costly to operate.
Madam Yaa Nyarkoa, 67 years old soft drinks seller at Effiduase said, for the past three months she has not been using the fridge at her shop because the total amount she spent on the purchase of electricity units was far in excess of her sales revenue.
The Internet cafes are said to be worst off. The cost of an A4 sheet photocopy which was between 5p and 10p is now between 15p and 25p.
The cafes have increased the cost for browsing on the Internet from between 50p and 60p an hour to 80p and GH˘1.00 an hour. But at the VODAFONE Cafes one hour is GH˘1.80.
Reacting to the public Complaints, the Eastern Regional Manager of ECG, Mr. K. Arthur-Forson said there was nothing wrong with either the billings or the meters. He described the complaints as baseless.
However, the Regional commercial Manager, Mr. A. Anokye Abebreseh and Mr. Emmanuel Sam, officer in charge of billing, explained that most people used second hand electrical gadgets, which consumed a lot more power.