Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Shopping for Generators

So was confronted with the picture of the electricity saboteur on the front page of the Daily Graphic today - charred remains and all , plus the story of what happened at the Tema sub-station. Didn't mention if the police had now moved the body. Warning to all other electricity/cable thieves? Will see.

I think in Ghana we can begin to use the adage where one or more expat is present a generator is sure to be on sale! Went generator shopping and have never seen more expatriates in one place excepting maybe at Champs ( a local sports bar) on a game night! Of course got thoroughly confused with all the ratings, voltage, KVA, watts and everything else in between. Luckily I have help in sorting all of this through, which is a very good thing.

Shopping in Ghana can be a hassle but this time around I am decidedly easy to please, not to mention focused. Firstly, will avoid the lure of purchasing a generator out of the back of a van/car/bus/truck or anything that is not an established electrical store. Overnight it seems, shopping for generators while driving home is as easy as buying plantain chips from the ladies at the stop-light. I have been noticing in the evenings on the way home that there is now one generator sales guy parked beside the white guy selling foreign puppies (yes, literal puppies aka dogs), and another is positioned strategically at Barclays Bank. But am determined not to fall for or buy no puss-in-a-bag as we would say in Jamaica. Apart from my warranty, I just need something that I can easily start, that will power the essentials in my house and that won't leave a serious dent in my already dented bank account. Too much to ask?

The prices of generators have slowly been rising, and with the announcement last week of yet another Unit being off the grid at Akosombo they have sky rocketed. Additionally, the price of diesel and petrol has also been increased, thus throwing an additional factor into the mix. Though diesel is cheaper, on average a diesel generator will cost one and a half to two times the times of a petrol generator. Anyway, will see. This morning am also off to look at inventors which are supposed to give cleaner and more stable power supply.

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