The government will spend a little over GHS 1 billion over the next three months on relief for electricity consumers amid the economic slowdown from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
About 87 percent of the Ghanaian population on 4.8 million metres who have access to the national grid are in line to benefit from these reliefs, according to the Energy Minister, Peter Amewu.
The government is fully absorbing electricity bills for lifeline consumers; persons who consume 0 to 50 kilowatt-hours per month.
The other categories of consumers will enjoy a 50 percent discount within the same period.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday morning, Mr. Amewu gave a breakdown of the reliefs with the Electricity of Ghana (ECG) accounting for most of the beneficiaries.
ECG currently oversees one million metres for its lifeline customers, which amounts to 27.4 percent of its customers.
“This means that at the current tariff level, Government is absolving almost an amount of GHS 8.5 million per month for [life line customers],” Mr. Amewu noted.
For non-lifeline customers, 2,780,886 are residential and 1,608 are special load tariff customers.
“A 50 percent discount on their electricity bill will translate into GHS 235.4 million per month. The total reliefs for ECG customers per month are, therefore, GHS 244 million.”
All these reliefs for ECG customers will translate to GHS732 million over three months.
For the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), “the total government relief for all customers is about GHS 47 million or GHS 141 million for the three month period,” Mr. Amewu said.
There will be reliefs of GHS 10.9 million per month for a customer population of 500,069 lifeline customers representing GHS 60.67 of the total NEDCO customers.
There will be reliefs of GHS 36 million per month for the remaining 369,000 non-lifeline customers.
For the Volta River Authority (VRA), the reliefs will be GHS55.5 million per month or a total of GHS 166.4 million for three months.
The VRA reliefs will cover 12 mining customers at GHS 42.4 million per month or GHS 127.2 million for three months.
Also under this, the Volta Aluminum Company will receive reliefs of GHS 4.8 million per month or a total of GHS 14.4 million for the three months and other manufactory customers, which include cement manufacturing companies, among others, will benefit from GHS 7.9 per month or GHS 23.7 million for the three months.