The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has intercepted over 700 fake metres at Dabala Junction Checkpoint in the Volta Region.
The confiscation of these fake metres took place on 29th August 2023 by Customs Officers stationed at the Dabala Checkpoint during a thorough inspection of a bus heading to Accra from Aflao.
The Customs Officers as part of their duty were inspecting the items in the bus and found these metres hidden inside the luggage compartment area.
However, none of the passengers owned up to these fake metres and were later impounded by the customs officers.
According to the ECG General Manager in the Volta Region, Ms. Christina Jatoe-Kaleo, importing metres into the country by individuals is illegal since no individual has the mandate to import metres into the country without a license and that only the Electricity Company of Ghana, NEDCO and Ministry of Energy have been mandated to import metres into the country.
Ms. Jatoe-Kaleo indicated that the company is clamping down on such fake metres since these substandard metres are installed on the blindside of the company. This practice is having a serious negative effect on the commercial and technical operations of the company, she said.
“It is illegal to import metres into the country and also acquire metres from other sources apart from ECG. We will take all necessary legal actions against individuals who are trying to infiltrate our network with these fake metres including those who aid them by selling or buying those metres.”
The General Manager revealed that these metres are substandard and can cause fire outbreaks to customers.
“Our metres are properly tested and calibrated to meet the required standards of our country, but these foreign metres are not calibrated so customers using them are properly tested and calibrated to meet the required standards of our country, but these foreign metres are not calibrated so customers using them are likely to incur higher electricity bills than our standard metres.”
“Using such unauthorized metres poses several dangers to the user, other ECG customers and the company. Such dangers include fire outbreaks, overloading and damaging transformers leading to outages and technical losses,” she added.
Ms. Jatoe -Kaleo advised customers to avoid purchasing such metres or dealing with third parties when they need metres and visit the ECG Office for such services.
“With the introduction of the Loss Reduction Program (LRP) and Flat rate policy, we have many options to service our customers anytime they apply for metres, so kindly visit the nearest ECG Office and apply to ensure you are served instead of engaging in the illegal act of purchasing from illegal sources,” she said.
The ECG General Manager called on the general public to assist the company in winning the war against these fake metres to enable the company to gather enough revenue to sustain the electricity supply chain.
“Users of these foreign metres consume electricity illegally without paying and this is not fair to customers who pay their bills. Such individuals usually complain that they are not receiving bills and this is because their metres were obtained and installed illegally without following the process of acquiring metres. We want everyone consuming power to prioritize the payment of bills since it is a patriotic act to pay for electricity consumed,” she added.
She further appealed to customers consuming electricity without paying as a result of such foreign metres, faulty meters or direct connections to take advantage of the moratorium granted during the operation zero exercise by visiting the nearest ECG Office to regularize their supply.
The General Manager called on the general public to assist the company in winning the fight against illegal metres by reporting such people to the Police or any ECG Office and desisting from patronizing them.
“We would like to commend the management of the Ghana Revenue Authority and Customs Division together with other security agencies like the military, national security and Ghana Police Service for supporting the company in the fight against illegal metres”, she said.
Ms. Jatoe-Kaleo urged customers to download the ECG PowerApp or use the shortcode *226# to pay all their outstanding bills to enable the company to provide stable power supply.