In a recent revelation, Samuel Dubik Mahama, the Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has shed light on the significant impact of weather conditions on electricity sales and revenue in the country. This insight comes as Ghana grapples with issues related to power cuts and electricity supply.
Mr. Mahama discussed the financial implications of weather conditions on ECG’s operations, particularly rainy weather. According to him, ECG loses approximately GH¢25 million on days when it rains in any part of the country. This is primarily due to the fact that electricity consumption tends to decrease when the weather is cold.
Before the onset of the rainy season, ECG was reporting an average daily revenue of between GH¢40 to GH¢50 million. However, on rainy days, this figure plummets, creating a substantial revenue shortfall for the company. The rainy season in Ghana often extends for extended periods, exacerbating the financial impact.
Flat Tariff System
One of the key issues highlighted by Mr. Mahama is the flat tariff system that Ghana employs throughout the year. Unlike some regions where tariffs vary with the seasons, Ghana maintains a consistent tariff, regardless of the changes in weather and consumption patterns. This approach, while straightforward, fails to account for fluctuations in electricity use during cold or rainy weather.
Operational Challenges During Rainy Weather
Apart from the financial challenges, rainy weather poses operational difficulties for ECG. Meter reading and other essential operational activities become challenging, hampering the collection of revenue. This is an issue that compounds the financial challenges faced by the utility company during such periods.
Power Cuts and Gas Supply
Ghanaians have experienced a series of power cuts in recent times, and these cuts have been attributed to limited gas supply to power plants in Tema and Takoradi. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has stated that ECG’s failure to pay its debt to the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company for the supply of gas is a major contributing factor to the shortage.
The Way Forward
Mr. Mahama reassured the public that despite the challenges, ECG would eventually collect the owed amounts from customers. He acknowledged the difficulties in collecting payments on rainy days but stressed that the outstanding payments would be recovered over time.
The impact of weather conditions on electricity sales and revenue is a significant challenge for the Electricity Company of Ghana. The financial implications of rainy weather, coupled with operational hurdles, underscore the need for a more flexible tariff system that considers fluctuations in electricity consumption due to weather changes. Addressing the challenges related to gas supply and debt settlement is also critical for ensuring the reliability and sustainability of Ghana’s electricity supply. The insights provided by Mr. Mahama shed light on the complex interplay of factors affecting the country’s electricity sector, offering a glimpse into the ongoing efforts to keep the lights on in Ghana.
story by Edinam Adzey