The Ashanti Regional office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has begun a pre-installation survey of all government institutions and agencies to assess the viability of rolling them onto prepaid meters to enable them to become more responsible to reduce the government’s indebtedness to the company.
The programme is in line with the government’s directive in 2014 to all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to be rolled onto prepaid meters to avoid wastage of power and reduce debt.
Currently, the ECG is almost through with the programme for the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and will soon hook the university onto it.
The Public Relations Manager of the Ashanti Regional ECG, Mr Erasmus Baidoo, said the KNUST assessment was quite huge because beyond the main facilities on the campus, there were adjoining hostels that needed to be factored into the planning.
The prepaid metering project for Ashanti West is currently being undertaken by a Ghanaian company, Ghana ElectroMeter, for the next seven years.
The company has begun with the installation of over 200,000 meters in eight districts in the region, including Danyame, Abuakwa and Suame.
The total cost of the project is still not certain, but it is expected to improve on the ECG’s billing system and reduce stress on customers.
The new prepaid meters are said to be an improvement on those already existing because of the former’s security features.
As demonstrated during a media tour, the features make it impossible for the meter to be transferred and relocated to another area when installed.
The Director, Strategy, Operations and External Relations of Ghana ElectroMeter, Mr Obed Bright Solomon, said in its efforts to create more jobs for Ghanaians, the company had made it a policy to engage graduates from the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), the polytechnics and other technical institutions to build a strong brand.
He said there were plans to capture the sub-regional market and make the Smart-G prepaid meter a household name.
The new meters have all the features of a smart phone and are recharged with a scratch card.
Mr Baidoo told journalists that the introduction of the Smart-G prepaid meters was a great relief to the ECG because in most cases it had been difficult to collect money from customers after selling power to them.
The new meters will definitely reduce the burden of chasing customers for money and make our work less cumbersome,” he said.