False! Akufo-Addo’s administration is not the only gov’t to reduce electricity tariffs

On June 11, 2024, Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency and Majority Speaker, Alexander Afenyo-Markin said on the floor of parliament that the Akufo-Addo administration is the only government that has reduced electricity tariffs since Ghana’s Fourth Republic.

Afenyo Markins added that the government’s ability to reduce tariffs shows how it is committed to addressing the challenges Ghanaians face.  

“This government acknowledges that our people face various forms of challenges. It is in light of this that history will remember this government as the only government in the fourth republic, ever to reduce electricity tariffs. In 2018, Mr Speaker, the government of Ghana announced various tariff reductions ranging from 18 to 30 per cent. It is a matter of record. This has never happened in the history of Ghana,” he said. 

The majority leader’s statement follows the recent announcement of tariff increment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2024. 

This is not the first time this claim has been made. In 2020, Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia made the same claim.  

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the facts in this report. 

Claim: “In 2018, Mr Speaker, the government of Ghana announced various tariff reductions ranging from 18 to 30 per cent. It is a matter of record. This has never happened in the history of Ghana.”

Verdict: False 

Explanation

In February 2011, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) announced a reduction in electricity tariffs following a review using the Automatic Tariff Adjustment Formula (AAF). According to the PURC, the downward review in tariffs was a result of the reduction in the cost of production. 

“Consumers within the 0-50 units bracket will still pay 9.5 pesewas per kilowatts hour, 51-150 and 151-300 will now pay 15.95 pesewas, down from 17 pesewas while those in the 301-600 bracket will pay 20.7 pesewas down from 21 pesewas,” a Ghana News Agency story republished by Modern Ghana reported the PURC’s decrement in tariffs.

Electricity charges for lifeline consumers were reduced from GHs 1.50 to GHs 1.00, the PURC statement said.

The decrease in tariffs came into effect in March 2011 but was shortly countered with an increase six months later.

In 2013, there was another reduction in electricity tariffs. The PURC had announced a 78.9% increment in electricity tariff which was supposed to take effect in October 2013. This resulted in a nationwide demonstration and agitations by the Trade Union Congress (TUC). The protests led to a reduction of the increment to 58.19% in November 2013 (See here and here). 

From 2016 to 2018, the PURC conducted eight reviews of electricity tariffs. The reviews led to a decrease in tariffs in March 2018. The PURC reduced electricity tariffs for households by 17.5% while reducing them at different rates for non-household consumers and special traffic load consumers. 

In February 2024, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) announced a reduction in electricity tariffs. “There will however be an average reduction in electricity tariffs of 6.56% for residential consumers within the consumption bracket of 301k Wh and above.”

Thus, while there have been reductions in tariffs twice under the Akufo-Addo administration, they are not the first time under the Fourth Republic the PURC has brought the tariffs down. In 2011 and 2013, under the Atta-Mills and John Mahama administrations, respectively, there were reductions in tariffs. 

Therefore, Afenyo-Markin’s claim that the Akufo-Addo administration is the only government that has reduced electricity tariffs since Ghana’s Fourth Republic is false.

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