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Ghana electricity Disco going digital to tame power theft
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has concluded plans to deploy Artificial Intelligence and Remote Sensors across its systems to fight power theft across the country.
This is as fact check has shown that several Discos in Nigeria have resorted to delay tactics in installing prepaid meters so as to continue to milk the majority who are struggling to exit estimated billing.
Ghanaian Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who was at the launch of a mobile application for ECG customers in Accra recently, said difficulties in collecting payment for power supplied and eliminating power theft were major challenges confronting ECG.
Accordingly, he averred that the use of Artificial Intelligence would be a major game-changer in the narrative.
He said “The issue of solving the collection problem at ECG is a major part of solving the energy issue in Ghana. I think this app also enhances collection, but I am aware- because I have been talking to the Board Chairman and the MD– that they are thinking about applying technology, artificial intelligence and remote sensors in the collection process.
“I know that they are piloting the system now, and by the grace of God if all goes well, we will have implemented a new system, starting this year, whereby nobody will be able to steal electricity in Ghana again.
“It is a major thing that the ECG is likely to implement this year, using artificial intelligence and remote sensing. They are piloting it right now, and the results look quite good. Once we solve that problem, the issue of losses from people doing ‘kuluulu’ connections of electricity will be a thing of the past,” the Vice president noted.
Business Hilights Ghana Bureau Chief reports that the new mobile app, known as the ‘ECG Power’ was designed in-house by the ICT staff of the ECG.
The Vice President is hopeful that before the end of the deadline for phase out of old meters (not estimated billing system) for smart meters by year end, the current 2.8 million out of the ECG’s 3.8 million customer base will rise.
He further explained that users of smart phones can download the app from the Google play store or Apple App Store, create an account, add the meter number, and top up or pay bills using mobile money wallets.
Also, users of non-smart phones, popularly known as ‘Yam’ phones are not left out; they can dial *226# and follow the prompts to enjoy the service.
Commenting on the innovative advantage of the App, Vice President Bawumia averred that “This is historic in the sense that the ECG for the first time in its long history is employing technology to tackle two major problems: first, improve on one of its critical functions of delivering power to its customers; and, second, address the more serious challenge of mobilizing its revenues from power delivery effectively and efficiently.
“With this new application, customers can now buy electricity credit from the comfort of their homes, anytime and anywhere. What is more, you can now buy credit for distressed family members and for acquaintances.
“All this is well in line with President Akufo-Addo’s vision to use digital technology to transform the economy of Ghana.
“The programme of Government, which we are consistently delivering to Ghanaians, is to use technology to bring about a total transformation of the way we go about our daily tasks, the way we do business, and the way we govern ourselves,” he added.