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PURC meets public over utility tariff review

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) is set to begin a nationwide stakeholder’s consultation on the proposed tariff review for both water and electricity.
This follows a successful preliminary meeting held with the utility companies.
Under the tariff setting guideline spelt out in the law setting up the PURC, the utility companies must submit their new tariff proposal 60 days before the effective date of the tariff.

It is not yet clear the rates proposed by the utility companies which have been complaining about outstanding bills.
The rate they provide must, however, take into consideration consumer interest, investor interest, cost of production and assurance of financial integrity by the public utility bodies.
Already, government, a major stakeholder in the supply of utility services has announced an average of 14% reduction in the prices of electricity for non-residential users.
It is not clear yet if there will be a percentage reduction or increase in the cost of water.
The president, Nana Akufo-Addo, confirming an earlier promise by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to reduce electricity tariffs, told traders his government will reduce electricity tariffs by 14%.
His announcement has been heavily criticized by the Minority in Parliament and some civil society organizations who accused the president of usurping the powers of the PURC.
But the Public Relations Officer of the PURC Deborah Bonney told Joy News the government, like any other stakeholder, has submitted a proposal which is being considered by the regulator.
When it takes all the proposals brought forward by the stakeholders, the PURC is mandated to interrogate the figures after which it will consult with the public for their final input before a new tariff is announced.
Deborah Bonney also confirmed that the public hearing will soon begin in order to collate views from the general public.
The deadline for the submission of proposals is January 31, 2018.
By law, the PURC is expected to announce a decision on the tariffs within 30 days of receiving all the information from the stakeholders.