Opposition projects further electricity rate increases
Opposition spokesman on energy Phillip Paulwell is warning Jamaicans to brace for further increases in electricity prices next month.
His warning follows yesterday announcement by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) of a two-US cent increase in bills for residential customers for June.
The increase brings the price of electricity up to US$0.21 per kilowatt hour.
Paulwell has described the added US$0.02 as a significant increase.
However, he’s predicting even further increases, saying the rate could reach US$0.25 per kilowatt hour by year end.
With the increase in electricity prices for June, the average customer using 165 kilowatt hours of electricity for any month, will pay $500 more on his light bill.
Paulwell says this is a severe blow to the productive sector of Jamaica.
The JPS says the increase is due to an increase in the cost of the fuel used for electricity generation due to rising oil prices; the impact of the recent increase in the Special Consumption Tax on Heavy Fuel Oil and the continued devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.
In April the tax on heavy fuel oil was increased by $7 per litre.
However, finance minister Audley Shaw had promised that the increase would not affect electricity prices as the tax on fuel was only meant to affect road transportation costs.