Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Net billing resumes tomorrow

Published:Sunday | April 10, 2016 | 4:00 AM

Customers of Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will again be able to apply for licences to sell their excess electricity generated from renewable energy sources to the grid as of tomorrow, April 11.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley announced that come tomorrow the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) will resume accepting applications for net billing on behalf of the ministry.

According to Wheatley, the applications will be accepted under similar terms as the previously concluded net billing pilot project until the details of a permanent programme are finalised.

Wheatley said the decision to continue the programme came out of an agreement reached last week between his ministry, the OUR and the JPS.

"All parties agreed that it was in the best interest of all concerned that the net billing programme be resumed so as to strengthen the development of the renewable energy sector in accordance with the National Energy Policy," said Wheatley.

The two-year pilot programme was extended to May 2015, as the system peak demand threshold for net billing was not met.

As at March 2015, 351 applications were received, 311 of which were granted licences.

ELECTRICITY ACT

"The net billing pilot programme was given the legislative underpinning in the Electricity Act, 2015, and based on the review of the pilot, undertaken by the OUR with the support of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, several other improvements arising from the recommendations will be enshrined in the regulations," said Wheatley.

The Electricity Act also provides a mechanism for JPS customers to connect to the grid for other purposes.

"The persons already connected to the grid for these other purposes are being encouraged to regularise their status by making the relevant application for a licence to the OUR within a six-month amnesty period, starting tomorrow," added Wheatley.