ECG to triple revenue using hubtel’s AI

Hubtel Opens Ghanas First Indigenous Ai
Hubtel Opens Ghanas First Indigenous Ai

Hubtel has since November 2023 rolled out artificial intelligence (AI) tools on the billing systems of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), and that has helped the sole power distributor to more than triple its revenue in the last few months. 

In July last year, Vice President Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia stated that through digitalization, ECG’s monthly revenue had grown from GHS450 million to an average of GHS1.2 billion.

This was on the back of the ECG Power App designed and managed by Hubtel, one of Ghana’s leading fintechs.

Recently, Hubtel has integrated artificial intelligence into the ECG revenue leakage detection and collection efforts and that has boosted revenue even further to about GHS1.4 billion in recent months, Techfocus24 has learnt.

Since 2003, ECG’s revenue had been growing below inflation, but with the help of Hubtel’s ECG Power App and AI tools, the growth of ECG’s revenue is now at par with inflation growth, and the power distributor is well on its way to grow revenue above inflation by the close of this year and become profitable going forward.

The Managing Director of ECG, Samuel Dubik Mahama launched a Revenue Loss Reduction Campaign, with a target of at least GHS2 billion monthly revenue by close of this year. When that happens, ECG will be able to either pay government dividends, or at least be able to let hospitals, public schools and some critical state institutions have power for free.

Already, the Ministry of Finance has, since July last year, stopped giving ECG the annual support funds of GHS250 million because Hubtel’s ECG Power App started raking in enough revenue to save government from having to support ECG with that money.

So how is the Hubtel AI helping ECG?

Sealing revenue leakages

  • The main revenue leakages at ECG are system glitches that may be because of power surges or trips which causes meters to malfunction and stop sending data to centre.
  • Internal inefficiencies – where staff either intentionally or unintentionally bills customers wrongly – often lower than they should
  • Intentional tampering with meters to either complete evade bill payment or reduce bill payment. Over 40% of meters across the country have been tampered with fraudulently and that is costing ECG millions of Ghana cedis every month.
  • There are institutions, mainly state institutions which keep piling bills and are not paying. AI cannot solve that one.

What AI does

  • Uses logic loops and inferences to detect non-payment and lower payment of bills
  • Use consumption history to detect and fix unusual consumption patterns
  • ⁠Customer classification: categorises customers into high, medium and low consumers to determine what to expect from each customers
  • Detect customer purchasing behaviours – some customers make daily, weekly or monthly purchases. Hubtel AI is provisioned to detect these behaviours and investigate further to get the insights around those behaviours
  • ⁠Smart notifications to keep customers abreast with their consumption patterns. Customers are sent customized notifications at times convenient for them, to ensure that they get to see the notifications
  • Offers confidence to customers because of the accuracy, timeliness and consistency of the notifications.

Results so far

  • People now spend more time on the app and they make payments more frequently and promptly because of the convenience and trust
  • ⁠People now buy credit on behalf of others more often
  • ⁠Dishonesty is eliminated because customers now know exactly how much they are consuming. The information they get is up to 99% accurate
  • ⁠There is fear among staff and customers that if they try to tamper with the system it will be detected speedily. This is positive because it has reduced the incidence of tampering with meters
  • ⁠Now ECG’s monthly revenue has tripled from about ghs450 million to about ghs1.4 billion
  • ECG’s money goes directly to the bank and it is readily available to them for projects and to make payments to creditors
  • Government has conveniently stopped supporting ECG with the annual contribution of GHS250 million since last July.
  • ECG is well on its way to increase revenue even further to GHS2 billion by close of the year.

40% of meters tampered with

Techfocus24 learnt that currently, currently work is in progress to seal the huge revenue leakages on the 40% of meters which have been tampered with fraudulent. The work is expected to be completed within the next few months. Once that is done, ECG will become profitable again.

Meanwhile, it is worthy of note that AI is not absolutely – it can still be tampered with. However, the team of experts at Hubtel keep monitoring the system regularly to ensure that any attempt to tamper with it is detected remotely and timeously.

⁠ECG is also required to put the necessary checks and balances in place at their end to ensure the system remains efficient and untampered with, so it can keep serving the country better.

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