The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) raked in GH?4.8 million as penalty from 1,136 people who were caught engaging in illegal electricity connection in the first half of this year.

The Accra East Region of the company recorded 109 cases of illegal connection; Accra West, 96; Tema, 139; Ashanti East, 79, and Ashanti West, 103.

The rest are Western Region, 78; Central, 12; Eastern, 105; Volta, 32; while the Intelligence Unit at the ECG Head Office recorded 383 cases.

The Head of Public Relations at the ECG, Mr William Boateng, who made this known to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, explained that identifying theft of power and cost consumed was part of a strategy to deal with the issue of losses by the company.

To that effect, he said, the company was introducing a system known as ?boundary metering? by which transformers would be fitted with meters to check losses.

The meters so fixed would show how much power had been consumed by customers, following which checks would be done (from meter) to know the amount of power consumed that was unaccounted for.

Mr Boateng said once it was established that there were power thefts in an area or community, officials of the company would ?zoom in? to check out those involved.

?We are metering all the transformers, so that we can know in which areas we are recording losses,? he said, adding that the new system would reduce human interference in the system.

He said so far the introduction of initiatives, including the prosecution of people engaged in illegal connection by utility courts, boundary metering to locate where the losses were, prepaid metering system and automated meter reading, had helped to deal with losses.

?As we speak, our losses are in the region of 21 per cent and we are going further down. The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) benchmark for the company?s technical and commercial losses combined is 21 per cent and so we are within the PURC benchmark category,? he said.

However, international standard is 15 per cent.

Mr Boateng said the ECG had been doing well in the past two years because of the intervention of the government and its own ingenuity.

Illegal connection last year

Last year, the ECG recorded 3,177 cases of power thefts.

Out of the number, it managed to recoup GH?3,791,994.78 through prosecution and the payment of illegal power consumed.

In the Accra East Region, it identified 231 cases; Accra West, 271; Tema, 283; Ashanti East, 191; Ashanti West, 130; Central Region, 71; Eastern, 173; Volta, 182, and head office (based on intelligence), 1,645.

Via: Daily Graphic

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