JPS loses approximately US$103M in the last 18 months due to electricity theft
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is reporting that it has lost a total of approximately US$102.8 million in the last 18 months as a result of electricity theft.
This, as the company continues to absorb the cost of the fuel used to produce much of the electricity that is illegally abstracted.
Last year, the company spent US$391 million on oil imports of which US$70.8 million was lost due to electricity theft.
Since the start of the year, JPS said it has lost more than US$32 million.
At a press briefing earlier today at the company’s head office in St Andrew, Senior Vice President of Customer Service Ramsay McDonald noted that over 18 per cent of the electricity that is produced by the power company is stolen.
“Each and every day, over 200,000 households and businesses steal from JPS,” declared McDonald.
“The reality is we have 200,000 households and businesses committing a crime against us every day, there is no police/security force that could withstand something of that magnitude,” he lamented.
Continuing, “The effect of electricity theft is crippling. It drives up the electricity cost for our paying customers. It starves the utility of much-needed funds to invest in capital investment, therefore, causing challenges in funding the various projects that could improve the reliability and safety of electricity here on our island,” McDonald added.
McDonald argued that, on a wider scale, electricity theft is impacting the growth and development of the country.
“If we’re going to leave a foundation for this island to prosper, electricity theft has to be reduced,” he contended.
This year, the JPS has budgeted close to US$30 million to combat electricity, the most it has ever earmarked to tackle the problem.