Thu | Aug 6, 2020

Customers fume over bills outside JPS corporate office

Published:Saturday | July 11, 2020 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson Harris/Staff Reporter
A protester stands with a placard outside the Jamaica Public Service Company's corporate offices in New Kingston. Several people have gathered demanding transparency in how their monthly bills are calculated by the company (Kenyon Heman photo).

Scores of protesters are now gathered near the Jamaica Public Service Company's (JPS) corporate offices in New Kingston, where they are demonstrating against what they believe is “a lack of transparency” regarding how their electricity bills are being calculated.

Chief organiser for the protest, Dr Marc Ricketts, said customers have taken the time and energy to join because they want to make a statement.  

“The statement, ultimately, is we feel we are being disadvantaged by the present arrangements that obtain in the sector,” he said.

JPS has been blasted by customers in recent weeks over a spike in electricity bills. The attorney general, Marlene Malahoo Forte, was among Jamaicans who took to social media, complaining about high electricity bills.

“Recently, it came out on social media from JPS that there are charges that we are being asked to foot [and] that we are ultimately absorbing the losses that JPS face from illegal connections. That we find to be unfair; that we find to be ultimately punishing the average man [who] is paying his light bill,” he fumed, as placard-bearing customers supported him.

Several officials from JPS met with the protesters, but this did not deter the efforts of those gathered to continue drawing attention to their dissatisfaction with the light and power company. Motorists were encouraged to show solidarity by honking their horns.

Dr Ricketts said that while the group did not receive the level of support it had anticipated, he and his team intend to continue to register their concerns.

“If things don’t change, there is always the possibility we will be back out again,” he said.

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