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ECG puts prepaid customers in darkness

As prepaid credit vending system shuts down

Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) customers are unable to purchase power for all prepaid meters leading to the automatic cut-off of supply to them.

Many of the affected customers have been sleeping in darkness since Tuesday due to their inability to purchase prepaid electricity.

Customers in the Volta, Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi, Tema, Cape Coast, Kasoa, Winneba, Swedru, Koforidua, Nkawkaw, and Tafo have been affected.

Many of the affected customers have visited numerous vending points burning fuel or spending hugely on transport only to be told the system is down.

Some of the affected customers complained bitterly about the frequent shutdown of the credit vending system without any permanent solution from ECG.

It is feared that the development will could compel affected customers to resort to illegal connections.

ECG attributed the problem to a technical challenge affecting the prepaid metering systems and interrupted the purchase of electricity credit.

The company in a statement told the affected customers that its Information Communication Technology (ICT) team is working around the clock to rectify the challenge and restore the prepayment system to normalcy.

The company did not give timelines as to when the issue will be resolved.

Prepaid metering or smart metering is the means of paying for electricity before its consumption.

Energy in monetary terms is bought by the customer at ECG revenue points or from a private vendor and loaded onto a magnetic chip or infra-red remote which is subsequently loaded, swiped or inserted into the prepaid meter for the consumer to enjoy electricity supply.

The introduction of the electricity pre-paid metering in 1996 was done to deal with the challenges associated with the credit or postpaid metering system.

However, there is a general assumption among customers that the prepaid electricity meters introduced by ECG to replace the post-paid metering system in most urban areas have benefited the utility provider-ECG rather than its customers.




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