Wed | Apr 24, 2019

JPS, NWC big offenders for 2018

Published:Friday | March 22, 2019 | 12:32 AM

The island’s two major utility companies, the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and National Water Commission (NWC), together paid out just under $152 million of the $155 million received by customers in rebates and compensation for breaches of the Guaranteed Standards.

The JPS paid out a total of $148 million for 72,046 service standard breaches, which fell by five per cent over 2017. In comparison, the cost to the NWC for 2,146 service standard breaches amounted to $3.8 million, with the number of breaches falling by 16 per cent over the previous year.

A further breakdown of the data contained in the Office of the Utilities Regulation’s (OUR) final Quarterly Performance Report for 2018 shows that the total sum secured for utility consumers through the OUR’s intervention was $1,483,125. JPS, NWC and Columbus Communications (FLOW) accounted for 72 per cent, 14 per cent and nine per cent of total credits, respectively, with the remaining five per cent being secured from C&WJ (FLOW).

Of the reported amount, $200,814 was secured for utility customers through the intervention of the OUR’s Consumer Affairs Unit in the October to December quarter, with JPS, NWC, Columbus Communications (FLOW), and C&WJ (FLOW), accounting for 33 per cent, 40 per cent, 12 per cent, and 15 per cent, respectively.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO MONTHLY CHARGES REFUNDED

In a release yesterday, the OUR also said it was satisfied that the JPS had stopped applying a monthly charge to customers who use the Pay-As-You-Go/Prepaid service and had made refunds of approximately $1.2 million to the customers affected by the charge which was started in 2016.

This charge for the service was not approved by the OUR and the JPS cooperated with its request for relevant information as part of its investigation. The OUR said it was now satisfied that the light and power company had taken the measures necessary to cease the application of the Customer Charge to Pay-As-You-Go Customers and has refunded affected customers’ accounts.

The OUR’s 2018 October-December Quarterly Performance Report can be found on the OUR’s website: www.our.org.jm.

editorial@gleanerjm.com