The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has advised the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to overhaul their monitoring system to ensure that they are able to account for consumption in the system.
ACEP made this recommendation in a new study on the consumption of electricity in Ghana.
The study underscored the need for quick reforms in addressing the challenge of illegally connected SHEP meters and the wider problem of illegal connections and non-payment for power consumed.
Also, it recommended that ECG should immediately take steps to regularize all Self-Help Electrification Program (SHEP) meters and eliminate the damaged ones.
“ECG should adopt a whistleblower mechanism to support the detection of illegal connections in the system,” it stated.
They added that “ECG should overhaul their monitoring system to ensure that they are able to account for consumption in the system. Particular attention should be paid to the high voltage feeders to enable them to identify where power theft is high.”
“The evidence from this work suggests that the number of illegally installed SHEP metres identified in the study is only a tip of the iceberg.
The implication of the existence of these meters is the significant financial losses to the power distributors.
Distribution losses in the system are estimated to cost about GHS1.3billion annually, with an average cost of about GHp 15/kWh to the consumer. The risk of this cost increasing is very high when the illegal meter connection problem is left unattended,” it concluded.