Sun | Feb 16, 2020

OUR assessing JPS application for rate increases

Published:Friday | January 24, 2020 | 10:38 AM
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The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is now evaluating an application for rate increases by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) for the period 2019-2024.

The OUR says it has now accepted the company’s tariff application after its supplied further information.

The regulator wrote to JPS last August indicating that it was rejecting its application because of material deficiencies including the absence of critical information and supporting documentation and gave it until December 30 to resubmit the document.

The JPS was invited to resubmit its application when the identified deficiencies, any items requiring further clarification or additional information had been rectified and/or addressed.

The OUR accepted JPS’s application on January 13following a preliminary examination.

The regulator says it has 120 days that is, by  May 12, to review the application and issue its decisions.

JPS’s detailed application includes a raft of proposals, with the company seeking approval of an annual average revenue requirement of J$62.1 billion (US$485.2 million) in real terms over the five-year review period.

According to JPS, if the tariff application is accepted, customers would see an average increase in overall rates of 4.69%, subject to annual reviews.

The average impact will vary by customer class, as well as within customer class, depending on consumption and choice of tariff.

Based on JPS’s proposal, residential customers would see the largest increase, i.e. 17.14%, while large industrial/commercial customers (on the time of use option) would register a reduction of 14.06%.

The OUR outlined that the proposed 4.69% increase in the overall rate is explained by a change in the average non-fuel tariffs of approximately 17.53%, versus an expected reduction in the fuel tariffs of 6.10%.

The non-fuel tariff contribute to approximately 48% of the bill.

According to the OUR, JPS has indicated that the increase in the non-fuel rate arises from the introduction of more efficient generation, the use of smart technology and other infrastructure investments.

On the other hand, the expected reduction in fuel tariffs would be attributable to the commissioning of newer, more efficient generating plants.

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