Government has in the last two years, realised some GHȼ273.8 million from the street light levy.
Energy Minister John Peter Amewu disclosed this in response to a question on the floor of Parliament, saying the amount was realised in 2018 and 2019.
The purpose of the levy, introduced by the Mahama government. Is to support payment for energy consumed by traffic lights, street lights, and public lights on highways, as well as to support investment and maintenance of traffic lights, street lights, and public lights on highways by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
In line with the Energy Sector Levies (Amendment) Act 2017, 3% per price of kWh of electricity is charged on all categories of consumers as public lighting levy.
The levy is required to be collected by the Electricity Company of Ghana, NEDCO, VRA and other suppliers of electricity.
He told the MPs that in 2018, an amount of GHȼ134 million was collected by ECG, VRA and NEDCO out of which GHȼ38 million was transferred to the Ministry of Energy.
He also added that GHȼ21 million was utilised by the Ministry that year.
Similarly, in 2019, an amount of GHȼ139 million was collected by ECG, VRA and NEDCO.
Out of that amount, GHȼ44m was transferred to the Ministry of Energy which utilised GHȼ42 million.
Touching on government’s renewable energy drive, Mr Amewu noted that the Ministry has advanced the development of the US$230 million Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme, with joint funding from the Climate Investment Fund (CIF), the Swiss Government, African Development Bank, and the Government of Ghana.
“The project is in the CIF sealed pipeline and the full implementation will provide electricity access to over 700,000 un-electrified inhabitants in some of the most deprived communities in the country,” he said.
Additionally, as a policy he indicated that the government intends to reduce the high cost of electricity bills by integrating solar in buildings of public institutions such as Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. To this end, the Ministry of Energy in 2019 added another 60KWp of solar PV to its existing 50KWp.
The Ministry has also awarded a contract for the construction of a 912KWp solar plant to supply about 60 per cent of total electricity demand at the Jubilee House which is being undertaken by 3SIL/SPS, a wholly-owned Ghanaian company.
Work on the project is at 70 per cent and expected to be fully completed by December 2020.
Continuing further, he added that the government has also signed a €100 million bilateral agreement with Germany on reform partnership in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency. This partnership he noted will contribute to increasing the contribution of renewable energy in the generation mix through the embedded generation and productive uses.