JPS targets thousands for renewal programme
THE JAMAICA Public Service Company (JPS Co) is targeting 4,000 new customers over a four-year period under its Community Renewal programme in tough inner-city communities in Kingston often plagued by illegal connections.
President and chief executive officer of the JPS Kelly Tomblin last week announced the appointment of Keith Garvey as vice-president with responsibility for the recently established Community Renewal and Energy Solutions portfolio.
"The Community Renewal & Energy Solutions group was created as we work to deliver on our promise to provide an energy solution for every Jamaican. The problem of electricity theft requires more than technical solutions. There are socio-economic contributors that must also be addressed if we are to achieve lasting success," Kelly explained.
Garvey, who has 20 years' experience at the leadership level in the energy sector, will have responsibility for forging partnerships with the Government and other agencies to connect new customers in a number of communities over an initial four-year period.
The proposed new customers are to be brought on to the JPS system through a combination of options, including provision of a sustainable solution to non-technical losses through the implementation of a smart metering system, and community facilitation and social intervention partnerships.
Other options include public education and the promotion of energy conservation and the introduction of innovative payment options such as pre-paid metering.
The participating communities for the first phase of the Community Renewal exercise are McGregor Gardens, Denham Town, Arnett Gardens, Payne Land, Whitfield Town, Tower Hill and Majestic Gardens.
JPS said it has already started work in these communities, and last month officially opened a service centre in McGregor Gardens. A second JPS service centre is to be opened in Denham Town before the end of the month.
Garvey will lead the development and implementation of community renewal initiatives as part of the company's non-technical losses strategy.
In 2013 the JPS reported that it suffered losses amounting to US$75 million (approx J$7.5 billion).