Electricity Distribution in the Northern Zone

The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volta River Authority (VRA), oversees electricity distribution in northern Ghana. Its current operations cover about 64% of Ghana’s geographical area and is the sole distributor of electricity in the now Upper East, Upper West, North East, Savannah, Northern, Bono, Bono East, and parts of Oti, Ashanti, and Western North regions. In 2022, NEDCo served about 20.4% of the total customer population of 5,566,711.

Grid Electricity Purchase, Sales and Losses Incurred by NEDCo (GWh)

The losses designate the difference between the purchases NEDCo conduct from GRIDCo and the electrical energy it is able to sell to its customers. The losses consist of technical and commercial losses. The first indicate losses as a result of e.g. inefficiencies in the grid. The latter arise from customers not paying for the entirety of the electricity consumer for example through mistakes in the bills, failure to pay or illegal power tapping.

Percentage (%) Electricity Distribution Losses

The percentage of distribution losses (commercial and technical) by NEDCo in regard to the total energy purchased in Ghana. The share has seen a sharp increase since 2010. Although, in recently it has been on the decline again in 2021 still 27.4% distribution losses were recorded. To compare: for the world in the year 2014 the percentage of both transmission and distribution losses to the total electricity produced was just above 8.2% and for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding high income) for that same year not more than 12%.

NEDCo's Average Electricity Interruption Frequency

NEDCo system average interruption frequency can be measured by the number of times a customer is interrupted during an operational year. The regulatory benchmark permits up to six outages annually in metro, urban, and rural areas.

NEDCo has not managed to keep the number of outages within the allowed six times in any of the three areas. In 2022, the values were 20, 60 and 20 times for the urban, rural and metro areas, respectively. 2018 must be noted for a peak in outages in urban areas of as much as 146. Whereas NEDCo has made some progress in enhancing service reliability, none of the regions met the benchmark of 6 interruptions per year.

NEDCo's Average Electricity Interruption Duration

NEDCo system interruption duration is measured by the average duration of interruptions recorded for the distribution system during an operational year. The regulatory benchmark for average duration of outage permitted by year in an operational area varies.

While for rural areas the regulatory benchmark of 144 hours has in that period never been surpassed, both urban and metro areas have recorded average durations of interruptions above their respective threshold of 72h and 48h. While the value for the urban areas has since 2018 dropped significantly, the duration of interruptions in the rural areas has rather been on the rise.