Cost Of Free Electricity, Other Details To Be Announced Thursday

Details of the free electricity relief package announced by government to cushion Ghanaians amid the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, will be announced by the Energy Minister John Peter Amewu on Thursday.

Mr Amewu will address all questions that have come up since the announcement of the package last week by President Nana Akufo-Addo, including how much it will cost the country and how customers will access the relief package.

President Akufo-Addo announced electricity bills for April, May and June for consumers with up to 50 kilowatt per hour of power in a month will be absorbed by government.

Under the package, customers who consume more than 50 kilowatts per hour will have 50 per cent of their bills absorbed by the government within the same period using their March 2020 electricity consumption as the benchmark.

Although the package is supposed to start from April, many pre-paid customers who recently purchased electricity say they are yet to enjoy the package, with some wondering whether the power distributors were ripping them off their money.

Commenting on the issue Wednesday on TV3 Covid-19 360, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said details on the package announced by the government were concluded on Tuesday.

“Yesterday, I think for about five hours or so the Ministry for Energy completed all the various frequently asked questions,” he said, noting Mr Amewu will on Thursday “provide a lot more details…the numbers have been worked out, various categories have been worked out”.

He added that details on how a customer can access the relief package will also be outlined at tomorrow morning’s news briefing in Accra.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah disagreed with claims by some civil society groups that the absorption of the electricity bills will leave the country’s energy sector with huge debt after the pandemic.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) for instance has said the package will mean government will spend about 350 million dollars every month

“The reality is that electricity is expensive and the total bills for Ghana every month is about $350 million. If the government is taking 50 per cent of this amount, it translates into close to three billion cedis for three months.