The Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG) has has revealed the reason behind the recent issues of debt on the meters of some prepaid users across the country. Even though the Electricity Company of Ghana has blamed this on some problems they had with reconciliation, they were quick to add that the deductions on the affected meters are legitimate.
In a press statement on December 22, 2020, the ECG explains to Ghanaians how possible it is to have debts on prepaid meters. Generally, prepaid users deposit money into a meter account and use it with an approved tarrif till it gets finished. When that happens, the prepaid meters automatically disconnect the supply of electricity until another deposit is made.
According to the ECG, there are few instances where the meter breaker stays connected and the prepaid meter continues to record the customer’s usage of electricity on a zero balance, and this can lead to debts on prepaid meters.
In 2014, some smart prepaid meters were deployed to residents of Accra and some of its environs. With these meters, the money is deposited in the account of the customer on a centralized server and it gets dispensed only when the meter is remotely connected to the server.
According to the ECG, delayed routine reconciliation due to failed remote communication between the meters and the server automatically switches the meters into credit mode and when this happens, customers get to use electricity more than their remaining credit. When it happens like this, it leads to a negative balance on the various meters whenever communication is restored between the server and the meters.
They went ahead to make known the measures the company has recently put in place to quickly upgrade the communication network between the server and the meters. According to them, this has also contributed to the problem at hand now in the sense that, the work of the technical staff deployed for the upgrade has resultedin the increasing debts of customers whose meters have been operating on credit mode. As such, most of them failed to buy “prepaid” over the months.
In a statement signed by Kwame Agyeman-Budu, the Managing Director of ECG, there are measures in place to improve the communication link between the server and the meters, in order to prevent issues of this nature in the future.