Sun | Jan 19, 2020

JPS, NWC still failing to notify customers of planned disruptions – OUR

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2019 | 5:27 PM

The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC) continue to underperform in service standards which require them to notify customers about planned outages.

The Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) says this is a part of the Overall Standards for JPS and the Performance Targets for the NWC.

The OUR points out that JPS is required to notify customers of planned outages, allowing at least 48 hours’ advance notice.

It says during the July – September quarter JPS showed a three percentage point improvement over the last reporting period but noted that the company fell short of the 100% compliance target as it reported an 82% compliance rating for this standard.

According to the utility regulator, the company has advised that it is in the implementation phase of the procedure that it has developed to monitor and measure its performance against this standard.

Meanwhile, the OUR reports that NWC Performance Targets provide for a 98% attainment rate for 12 hours’ advance notification of planned service interruptions of a duration of no more than four hours.

However, where a planned interruption is expected to be for more than four hours, the NWC is required to give notice of at least 24 hours, at a 90% attainment rate.

The OUR says based on NWC’s notifications to the public, it attained an 80% compliance rate to provide at least 24 hours’ notice for disruptions of a duration greater than four hours, which is 10 percentage points less than the established target.

It says the 80% also represents a two percentage point decrease over the preceding period.

Of the 10 related notifications received, eight were in compliance with the target.

 “We are disappointed with these figures as neither NWC nor JPS has achieved the agreed targets which are not financially burdensome to them and would demonstrate concern and consideration for their customers.

“In particular, because of NWC’s sharp decline, we have written to them asking for further information as to their inability to meet and/or exceed the agreed 90% compliance rating for Performance Target 12 as well as the measures that are being implemented to ensure that they are consistently in compliance with the agreed target,” said OUR Director of Consumer and Public Affairs, Yvonne Nicholson.

She says the OUR will continue to monitor the situation.

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