Consumers of utility services have been advised to channel all grievances on water and electricity to the office of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) for possible solutions.

Mr. Patrick Antwi, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Manager of the PURC gave the advice at a stakeholders’ forum on Friday at Berekum in the Bono Region.

The forum, participated by traditional leaders, staff of the Berekum Municipal Assembly, youth groups and the general public was to educate the people about the operational challenges of the utility companies and the need for cooperation between them and consumers.

He urged the people to promote peace in support of the utility providers to enable them to provide efficient services, following recent attacks on some staff of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), who were on duty at Kato, near Berekum, by a group of young boys in the town because of power outages.

He explained that the PURC was created among others, to mediate on stalemates between consumers and the utility providers and also assist in finding solutions to challenges and misunderstandings in connection with power and water supply in a community.

Mr. Antwi said a company or an individual, after going through all the arbitration processes without amicable settlement, reserved the right to petition a Court for satisfactory redress.

He said the utility providers are always ready to provide efficient services to the general public but are sometimes hindered by some natural disasters which cause emergency situations.

Mr. Antwi announced that the PURC is taking steps to open offices in all the Municipalities and Districts in the three regions and assured that Berekum’s office would soon be opened to ensure the speedy provision of solutions to challenges confronting consumers and the service providers.

He said his outfit is ready to receive all complaints under a 24-hour operation and entreated the public to endeavour to contact them on telephone from places that they could not have immediate access to the office.

Mr. Isaac Inkabi, a Customer Service officer of NEDCo appealed to consumers to accept the installation of new metres introduced recently by the company and debunked the public’s perception that those meters had higher consumption rate.

The introduction of the new metres, which is of higher quality, was to clear the old ones from the system and also provide efficient and quality service to consumers, he explained.

Mr. Inkabi advised the general public to avoid reliance on ‘Goro boys’ for the acquisition of metres and rather use the right process laid down by the utility providers.

He urged the general public to report officers who demands money for metres and warned that such officers would be sanctioned severely to serve as deterrent to others.

Source: GNA