The role of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) in regulating Ghana's utilities

Stories and facts

Established in October 1997 under the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Act, 1997 (Act 538), the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) serves as a multi-sector regulator overseeing electricity and water utility services in Ghana.

This establishment was a pivotal step in the Government of Ghana's utility sector reform process, aimed at enhancing efficiency and accountability within the sector.

Under the provisions of Act 538, PURC is vested with the authority to regulate the provision of electricity and water utility services. Additionally, under the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541), the commission also regulates the transportation of natural gas services. Operating as an independent body, PURC exercises its functions free from the control of any external authority. However, it submits annual operational and financial reports to Parliament, with administrative oversight provided by the Office of the President.

The commission is comprised of nine Commissioners, including a Chairman, an Executive Secretary, and institutional representatives for labor, industry, and domestic consumers. These commissioners, along with four experts in various aspects of the commission's work, are appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State for renewable five-year terms. The Secretariat, headed by the Executive Secretary, provides essential support to the commission in executing its mandate.

The overarching mission of PURC is to establish a credible and sustainable utility regulatory regime that safeguards the interests of stakeholders. With a vision to become a model utility regulatory institution in Africa, PURC is committed to fostering transparency, accountability, and efficiency within the utilities sector.

Entities directly regulated by PURC include the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), Ghana National Gas Company Ltd. (GNGC), Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd. (ECG), Northern Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (NEDCo), Enclave Power Company Ltd., and Ghana Water Company Ltd. (GWCL).

Additionally, PURC oversees other public utilities in the generation sector by approving Bulk Generation Tariffs (BGT) and reviewing the reasonableness of pricing under Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), ensuring adherence to quality of service standards.

PURC plays a vital role in promoting the efficient and sustainable provision of utility services in Ghana, thereby contributing to the nation's socio-economic development and the well-being of its citizens.



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