The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Ghana’s utility regulator, has raised the water and energy rates for all customer groups for the first quarter of 2023.
In its quarterly adjustment for the first three months of 2023, PURC declared that, as of February 1, the energy rate will increase by 29.96% and the water tariff by 8.3%.
However, as part of the ongoing reform of the current water rate structure, the Commission approved a variety of rate adjustments, including modest reductions for certain industrial and commercial consumers.
According to the revised prices, residential consumers would see a price hike from GHp/kwh89.04 to GHp/kwh115.72, while lifeline clients would pay 54.46 pesewas per kilowatt hour instead of the previous 41.90 pesewas.
Moreover, customers with special load requirements would pay an electricity rate ranging from GHP/kwh96.86 to GHP/kwh343.06.
Meanwhile, the price of water increased for residential users from GHp/m3 400.16 to GHp/m3 433.38; for makers of sachet water, from GHp/m3 1504.45 to GHp/m3 1800.00; and for public institutions and government agencies, from GHp/m3 873.55 to GHp/m3 946.07.
Also, the cost of water for manufacturers of bottled water and other beverages decreased from GHp/m3 4595.84 to GHp/m3 3000, while the cost of water for industrial services decreased from GHp/m3 1351.45 to GHp/m32000.
The Commission stated that, while keeping in mind the current challenging economic conditions, it took into account the Cedi to US Dollar exchange rate, inflation, generation mix, and the weighted average cost of natural gas before arriving at the new tariffs.
To that effect, it underlined the necessity of preventing prolonged power outages and their detrimental effects on livelihoods and employment, while also minimizing the impact of rate hikes on consumers. Furthermore, PURC stated that the new prices, which would be in effect from January to March 2023, were necessary to prevent Ghana from experiencing the possibility of “catastrophic” outages.
It was reported, for instance, that the Cedi had declined against the US Dollar and other important currencies ever since the big levy was announced in August 2022.
Additionally, the weighted average inflation figure used for the primary tariff had increased fourfold, which, along with changes in the currency rate, had a detrimental effect on the utilities’ ability to purchase essential inputs needed for their operations, according to PURC.
In September of last year, as part of its comprehensive tariff review, the Commission raised the prices for electricity and water by 27.15 percent and 21.55 percent, respectively.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) proposed a 14.8 percent tariff increase during this time, while the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) requested a 33.4% increase.
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