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JPS says customers rates at five-year low, now paying US 25 cents

Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 3:36 PM
JPS President and CEO, Kelly Tomblin.

Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says customers are now paying US 25 cents for electricity, the lowest electricity rates seen in Jamaica since 2010.

The power company says the dramatic reduction in overall energy cost is due to lower fuel charges, as well as the improved efficiency of JPS’ generating units.

It says since last year, JPS customers have been benefitting from lower Fuel & IPP Charges on their bills, as a result of the reduction in the price of oil on the world market. The Fuel & IPP Charge on bills this month is J$14.670 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared to J$18.449 last month.

This means a seven percent reduction in the April bill for the average residential customer, compared to his/her March bill.

The Fuel & IPP Charge on bills is coming down from a high of $J28.828 / kWh in March last year when oil prices were at their highest for 2014.

The power company says in addition to the lower cost of the oil used for electricity generation, JPS is also passing on to customers the gains from the improved efficiency of its generating plants. In 2014, the Company invested US$21 million in plant upgrade and maintenance to ensure that, despite their age, the units operate as efficiently as possible.

JPS President and CEO, Kelly Tomblin, has welcomed the reduction in energy cost.

“Our number one goal this year is to lower our customers’ energy bills. While we have little control over the trend in world oil prices, we do have control over our own operating costs. That’s why we continue to invest in our plants to improve their efficiency, and ultimately lower operating costs.

The result is that we are using less oil to generate each kilowatt of electricity. Everybody benefits from the lower energy cost. Jamaica is spending less foreign exchange to import expensive oil, and our customers are benefiting from the lower cost of production,” she explained.

Tomblin noted that JPS was working on medium and long-term solutions to keep the cost of electricity down.

“We are moving ahead with the conversion of our 120 MW plant at Bogue to operate on gas by early next year. We are also finalising discussions with the Government regarding the construction of the new 190MW plant to replace our Old Harbour facility, which is to be retired in another two to three years,” Tomblin indicated.

Meanwhile, the JPS President & CEO is encouraging customers to continue their conservation efforts.