All over the globe, there seems to be a shift in the way utilities are operating. The key global trends include renewable energy, smart metering, the internet of things, digital revolution amongst others. This is impacting utility business models and utilities have had to innovate to stay in business.
Additionally, there is a growing change in consumer preferences and a high demand for reliability from utilities. Furthermore, customers in the digital age require utilities to provide convenience and ease in doing business with them as well value-added services like timely provision of outage information and more details on their consumption.
ECG in this regard begun its strategy development for 2021-2024 to drive the company through the changing global trends and consumer needs. ECG, over the years, has been committed to carrying out its mission of delivering reliable, quality and safe electricity to support the economic development of Ghana. The past four years have seen phenomenal improvement in power delivery to our customers after the country was plunged into a power crisis from 2012 through to 2015. The company has invested over 1 billion USD dollars in its network since 2016 in improving reliability and quality of supply.
Customer satisfaction has risen from 53% in 2014 to 61% in 2018 and recorded 63% in the recent survey in 2019. Reliability indices have improved significantly since 2013. System loss, however, has seen some decline in its performance as a result of energy accounting challenges.
The company has also invested heavily in the area of technology in improving business processes by
upgrading its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems, procurement of Geographical Information System (GIS) software, Meter Management System(MMS), and is in the process of finalising the acquisition of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
ECG has a great and well-trained workforce who are highly exposed to technological trends in the
industry. Additionally, ECG has the advantage of being the market leader and has extensive coverage for its distribution network in Ghana. Several opportunities also exist in the market that ECG could take advantage of including the technologies to digitise and operate efficiently, new streams of businesses including renewable energy, fibre services, electric vehicles and value-added electricity
Despite all these strengths and opportunities, ECG is faced with several challenges that inhibit its
use of the opportunities available and its strengths. Key challenges the company faces include, decrease in sales revenue growth due to competition from cheaper alternative sources, high cost of power purchases, non-cost reflective tariff, inadequate revenue collection, high system & financial losses, inadequate engagements among directorates and poor customer culture.
ECG has therefore identified a new vision of becoming a financially sustainable and customer-focused energy service provider by 2024. A turnaround strategy has also been developed to help ECG achieve its vision.
The turnaround strategy is underpinned by the following objectives.
- Mobilise change through effective leadership
- Create synergy by breaking silo working to optimise the use of technology to deliver more value to the customer.
- Leverage technology to enhance business processes to create an enabling environment and improve customer experience.
- Look for new revenue streams and improve revenue collection through the use of a skilled workforce and technology to keep the company financially sustainable.
- Improve decision making with the use of data and analytics.
- Build partnership with stakeholders through effective engagement.
Consequently, the turnaround strategy is to be achieved in three focus areas.
The three focus areas with their strategic results are:
- Debt to sales ratio is 20%.
- Other revenue has increased by 10% of total revenue.
- 95% of projects delivered on time.
- System loss of 20%.
- Achieve the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s (PURC) reliability indices – System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) for all categories of customers.
- Operating margin of 10% excluding capacity charges.
- All customers are connected within 5 days after payment.
- All customers are at least 70% satisfied with our service.
- Value-added services are given to our customers (consultancy, fibre networking, EV charging, solar PV etc). In addition to the business strategy, four additional strategies that will enable/support its implementation have also been developed. These are:
People Strategy – to align skills and training to organisational objectives.
Digital Transformation Strategy – to align digital initiatives to business objectives and define the road to build a digital utility.
Change Management Strategy – to spell out how the change would be managed throughout the organisation as a result of the digital transformation as well as the kind of leadership to be provided.
Partnership Strategy –spell out partnerships required to achieve business objectives.