Electricity End-User Consumption

The total electricity customer population in Ghana in 2021 accumulated to 5,426,242, making it almost five times more than in 2000 when the total customer base was only 1,109,357. This equals an annual growth rate of 8.7% for that time span.

The customer population is classified in residential, non-residential and Special Load Tariff (SLT) customers. Compared to 2000 the number of residential customers increased the most from 758,558 to 4,648,932, by about five-fold. For that same period, the non-residential and SLT customer population grew by about 3.5 and 1.5 times respectively.

In 2021 it was also the residential sector that consumed the most electricity over the various sectors of the economy. From a total of 18’067 GWh, 8,484 were used by residentials, 5,746 GWh by the industry sector, 3,827 GWh by the service sector, 6 GWh by agriculture and another 6 GWh by the transport sector. This is in stark contrast to the year 2000, when the industry sector was still responsible for more than twice of the electricity consumption of the residential sector.

Share of Electricity Consumption (GWh) by Sector in 2021

Electricity consumption by the residential sector in 2021 accounted for 46.9% of the total electricity consumed. The industrial sector is with 5,746 GWh the second biggest consumer of the economic sectors in Ghana and accounted for 31.8% of the total electricity consumed. The service, agriculture and transport sector accounted for 21.2%, 0.05% and another 0.05% respectively.

This is in contrast to the global distribution where the industry sector is the main final electricity consumer. However, in OECD countries over the last decades growth in electricity consumption has mostly taken place in the residential and service sectors, resulting in these three sectors now having almost equal shares.

Electricity Consumption by Sectors (GWh)

This graph shows the final electricity consumption by the various sectors of the economy. From 2000 to 2021 it increased at an annual rate of 4.7%. The year 2006 showed the most pronounced increase of consumption of about 21.8% as compared to the year before. In contrast, in the years 2003 and 2007 electricity consumtpion showed a considerable decrease by 23.4% and 13.2% respectively, from the preceding year’s consumption.

A bulk of the growth in the final electricity consumption happened in the residential and service sector. In 2000 the residential sector used 2,026 GWh, by 2021 that number has increased more than 4 times to 8,484 GWh. In that same period the service sector has even seen an inrease by the factor of eight, from 476 GWh to 3,827 GWh.

Customer Population by Classification

In Ghana the majority of the customer population is classified as residential. In 2021 they accounted for about 85.67% of the total customer population, while the non-residential and SLT customers accounted for the remaining 14.29% and 0.04% respectively. The residential customer population refers to private households, while  the non-residential customer group is made up mostly of commercial entities. SLT are end-users who are large energy consumers like mining companies. These classifications further determine the applicable tariff to the customer.

Average Electricity End-User Tariff

In Ghana the average electricity end-user tariff of electricity consumers consists of the categories: residential, non-residential and Special Load Tariff (SLT). The residential and non-residential customers are charged using an increasing block tariff (IBT) according to their consumption category. Hence, the price per kWh for a consumer is higher the more electricity they use in a month. For instance, in 2021 the tariff for a non-residential customer consuming more than 600 kWh per month was GH₵ 1.34, while for a non-residential customer in the lowest consumption category (0-300 kWh) the tariff was GH₵ 0.8. Further, for residential customers there exists the so called Lifeline tariff for customers consuming between 0 to 50 kWh. It is a subsidized tariff with a tariff bracket, that was introduced in 2002 to protect low income households from upward tariff adjustments.

From 2000 to 2021 the end-user tariff grew at an average annual rate of 19.8%, from 0.017 GH₵/kWh to 0.749 GH₵/kWh. The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) is an independent regulatory body mandated to set the tariffs and arbitrate between power utilities like ECG and NEDCo and consumers.

Main Source of Lighting for the Dwelling Unit

In 2021 about 86.3% of all 8,356,966 dwelling units in Ghana relied on electricity for their main source of lighting. The electricity was to the greatest extent sourced from the main grid. After electricity, flashlights were the second most reported main source of lighting with a share of 10.2%. In urban areas electricity is even more prevalent with 95.2% of the dwelling units sourcing their lighting mainly through electricity. However, in rural areas the share is considerably smaller, only 72.6%, while flashlights are the main source of lighting in 21.1% of the dwelling units.

Use of Electricity as Main Source of Lighting
Ghana 86.3%
Greater Accra 96.1%
Central 91.7%
Western 89.7%
Ashanti 88.5%
Eastern 88.0%
Bono 85.2%
Volta 85.1%
Northern 79.7%
Western North 76.8%
Bono East 76.4%
Ahafo 76.0%
Upper West 73.1%
Oti 72.9%
North East 72.1%
Savannah 59.5%
Upper East 57.0%

The use of electricity as main source of lighting varies markedly among the regions in Ghana, with the highest in the Greater Accra Region (96.1%) and the lowest in the Upper East Region (57.0%). The difference between urban and rural areas is also striking with 95.2% and 72.6% respectively. The lowest percentage with only 43.4% is found in the rural areas of the Upper East Region. Other source of lighting are kerosene, gas or solar lamps, candles and flashlights.