PURC advises general public to seek technical advice before engaging utility providers

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The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has urged the public to seek technical advice from the Commission before engaging any of the utility providing companies for service delivery.

This, it said, would empower the public with the right information to make informed decisions to avoid being exploited and also create healthy relationship between the customer and the utility company.

Mr Seth Kponyo, the Upper East Regional Manager, PURC, gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.

He said when public sought clarifications from the Commission, “they will know their left from right before engaging any utility company for business.”

He observed that most people complained of unsatisfactory services particularly processes leading to acquisition of new metres, payment processes and power fluctuation among others but due to lack of knowledge, they were sometimes being exploited and had their issues unresolved.

Mr Kponyo who  is also in charge of the North East Region, explained that the Commission, established by act of Parliament of 1997, Act 538, had among other things in its mandate to ensure that there was cordial relationship between the electricity and water utility companies and the consumers.

He urged clients to report to the Commission any unsatisfactory services rendered by the utility companies for investigation and redress to maintain the healthy customer-service provider relationship.

“Our services are free, there is no cost attached to the services we render to the public. If you have any issue with your service provider, you can write to our office to lodge your complaint and be assured that it will be handled properly without charges,” he added.

He said wrongful disconnection and power fluctuation leading to damages to properties could be reported to the Commission for investigation and added “if we do our independent investigation and analysis and realise that your wiring, connections and everything are good and in line with the laid down laws, the utility company would be made to pay compensation to you the victim”

Mr Kponyo noted that per the provisions of the PURC Legislative Instrument 2413 (Customer Service) of 2020, the utility companies could equally lodge complaints at the Commission against consumers especially debtors or those engaged in illegal activities hampering the work of the companies, for redress.

The Regional Manager reiterated the resolve of the Commission in the region to intensify education to sensitise members of the public especially those in the rural areas to be equipped with the right information on operations of the Commission and the service providers and the role the public could play to ensure a healthy environment.

“Education is very key to demystifying some of the misconception that the public have. It is also necessary for the utility companies to as part of activities, undertake public sensitisation to educate the public to appreciate their work and the challenges that they face.

“This way, if there is any problem, for instance, power cut, because the people are aware of the challenge, they would sympathise and support the utility company instead of accusing it of wrong doing,” he added.

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