Upper East Regional Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) engages rural communities in Builsa North and South Districts

The Regional (PURC), engaged some rural communities under their jurisdiction on Saturday 18th May, 2024. The commission led by the regional manager, Mr. Seth Kponyo and Public relations officer, Mr. Mohammed Adams, visited 7 communities in the district. Their one-week outreach covered, Gbedemah, Jagsaguuta, Katagra, Kanjarga, Gobsa, Chansa and Yagaba.

The community engagement was part of their mandate and efforts to sensitize customers on their rights and responsibilities as well as re-iterate the mandate of the commission to serve them. The team also engaged the community radio stations serving the rural areas in the Builsa South and North districts.

The PURC team, in their engagement shared the functions of the commission, processes in acquiring electricity and meters into households, the capital contribution policy and the procedures in lodging a complaint on the utility provider.

Community members were sensitized on the mandate of the commission to collect and follow- up on complaints of customers on utility providers. With the main office stationed at the regional capital, , community members were told complaints could be lodged in person at their main office or via other convenient electronical means such as through phone calls and WhatsApp.

Households who were interested in acquiring new electricity service, were also told the processes, timelines and costs involved. This also included how to acquire a separate meter, recommended practices in engaging the energy commission certified electricians for household wiring and the benefits thereof.

The capital contribution policy that mandates the electricity utility provider to refund 60% of incurred cost by an individual in acquiring electricity to a distance, when a minimum of two households benefit on the same line was also shared.

According to the commission, this policy resolves issues emanating from providing electricity to certain sections, when other household fail to communally contribute to the acquisition of the service, and yet are quick to tap electricity from poles acquired by an individual who bore the initial cost.

The PURC-Upper East region, also responded to inquiries from community members on the acquisition of electricity to households, especially in communities with no power supply such as Jagsaguuta and high billing issues etc.

In response to the inquiry on power supply, the commission recommended a formal appeal to the district assembly through their elected assembly member and to aspiring parliamentary candidates of the 2 major political parties in

this year's election to benefit from their goodwill. On issues of high billing, the commission shared energy conservation tips such as engaging the service of the energy commission certified electrician, acquiring the recommended cabling for wiring, including proper earthen

wires and the purchasing of energy conservation gadgets rather than the cheap home-used appliances which in the long run consume more electricity often leading to high bills.

The assembly men appreciated the commission for the outreach and touching base to sensitize them on their rights and responsibilities.

Community members also expressed satisfaction in the commission's engagement, sharing this would go a long way to alleviate their current predicaments in the utility service provision in their communities.

The commission also appreciated their availability and re-assured their commitment to do the necessary follow-ups to ensure the efficient provision and experience with the various utility providers in the region.

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