The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) says it will do what is right under its mandate in setting a new utility tariff.
PURC Executive Secretary, Mami Ofori Dufie has said the review could either be upward or downward at the end of the Commission's meeting with utility companies.
“A reduction is possible, although I am not saying that is what will happen, as there are so many factors to tariff determination,” she told Emefa Apawu on Newsnight on Joy FM.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in January announced a 14 percent reduction in electricity tariff for non-residential users of electricity.
“The non-residential tariff rate, which is the rate which includes all of you here, is being reduced by an average of 14%. For barbers, it is being reduced by 18%; for hairdressers and beauticians, 15.7%, and for tailors, 9.8%,” the president said.
But some energy experts have criticised the president's action especially when the government has submitted a proposal to the PURC to consider the reduction.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act (Act 538) gives the power to the Commission to set utility tariff in the country.
At a meeting to consider the tariff situation, some utility providers have asked for an upward adjustment of the tariff, saying a reduction will be detrimental to their business. This demand is directly at variance with the call by the president.
But the PURC Executive Secretary said she could not promise if the tariff will be reduced or increased, dismissing claims that an increase will be dangerous for the image of the government.
Mami Ofori Dufie said the Commission is considering the government's reduction proposal and will engage its stakeholders in interrogating its substance.
“We will also look at certain plans that they put in place which we believe if they are streamlined we could reduce the cost of operation of the utility but most importantly, we are interested in ensuring that customers get value for money, " she said.
She said the two demands can be reconciled such that the customers get what they want at an effective cost.
She added that an emphatic statement about whether to increase or decrease the prices can only be made when the Commission finishes its analysis.
“If we look at the parameters and how the data is and investments proposals of the utilities and we can ensure a sustainable service which is viable we are not going to shortchange anybody," she said.
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