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Renewable energy providers fear millions in debt over suspension of net billing process

Published:Thursday | May 14, 2015 | 5:13 PM

The Jamaica Solar Energy Association says many of its members risk incurring millions of dollars in debt as a result of what it calls the abrupt and unexpected suspension of applications for net billing.

Net Billing allows Jamaica Public Service (JPS) customers who own renewable energy to generate electricity for personal use.

It also permits them to sell excess energy to the JPS.

President of the energy association, David Barrett, says the JPS and the Office of Utilities Regulation, did not inform the group that they would have suspended accepting applications on May 1 under the phase one of the pilot project.

He explains that in 2012, the association was informed that the phase would last until 2014 but an extension was later granted.

Meanwhile, Barret says his members who have been making plans could now run into financial problems because of the suddenness of the decision.

 

President of the Jamaica Solar Energy Association, David Barrett

Barrett says the association tried without success on numerous occasions to find out when the phase would have ended.

Meanwhile, Barrett is questioning why the decision was taken to suspend applications before the presentation of an evaluation of the programme so far.

He says the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is due to present its findings of the evaluation on May 28.

In November last year, the OUR disclosed that 265 applications had been received but only 68 providers have been connected to the grid.