The Electricity Company of Ghana says it will halt the ongoing load-shedding exercise in order to allow football lovers to enjoy the 2014 FIFA World Cup which begins Thursday.
Many power consumers have been nursing concerns that they will miss some of the action during the world’s biggest football tournament in Brazil from June 12 to July 13.
But ECG’s Head of Public Relations William Boateng, speaking to B&FT in an interview, said it has reached an agreement with other power stakeholders to ensure stable supply during the period of the tournament.
“The ECG is going the extra mile to ensure that our consumers are not denied this football event despite the fact that we are in dire straits. As long as a match is going on, we will keep the lights on; especially when Ghana is playing,” he said.
The current power crisis has seen the electricity distributor curtailing as much of 400 megawatts of demand during peak periods from 6pm to 12am.
According to Mr. Boateng, ECG intends to maintain stable supply to residential areas during the football tournament, a decision that means supply to non-residential areas will be adversely affected.
He added that household’s ability to conserve power during the period will go a long way in determining the overall success of the brief reprieve.
“Our statistics show that as much as 30 percent of the power we supply to consumers goes to waste. It is not about who can pay for the power; it is about using the exact power you need,” he said, adding: “We are pleading with consumers to regulate the use of high-energy-consuming electrical appliances like air-conditioners, refrigerators among others during the World Cup.”
The greater number of football matches at the tournament will be shown during hours considered by ECG as a period of peak power demand. Heeding to proper energy conservation calls, according to ECG, could save about 500 megawatts of energy — far more than the deficit in the system currently.
Scheduled load-shedding during the day will not affected by the directive, the company said. The Black Stars open their campaign against the United States of America on Monday, June 16 at 11pm local time.