Over 805,000 households in Jamaica or 91.3 per cent of the total captured in the 2011 census of population and housing, use electricity as a source of lighting.
The number is more than 200,000 bigger than the customer base of the country's sole transmitter and distributor of electricity, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), which puts the number of clients on its books at under 600,000.
Responding to the findings, JPS Head of Corporate Communications Winsome Callum said the gap "probably an indicator of the number of households that are using electricity illegally".
According to the census, a not insignificant number of the total 881,078 households captured under the study - 48,629 - use kerosene as their source of lighting. Other sources of lighting not specifically identified are used by 7,515 households, while 19,635 did not report a source.
As expected, St Andrew households are the largest consumers of electricity with 184,176 having access; followed by St Catherine where 151,865 households are powered, Clarendon with 68,286 households having access, St James with 56,403, and Manchester where power penetration is across 54,125 households.
Of the total number of households, 80 per cent or 705,235 use liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as a source of fuel for cooking; 15,803 or 1.8 per cent use electricity for that purpose; 8.9 per cent or 78,700 use wood; and 6.1 per cent or 53,876 use charcoal. Less than one per cent or just 94 households use biogas; and only 25 households use solar energy - suggesting that the use of renewables in Jamaica is still in the infancy stage.
The five largest concentrations of LPG users are found in St Andrew followed by St. Catherine, St James, Clarendon and Manchester.
According to the census conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin), just 16 per cent of households or 141,835 have access to treated piped water for drinking. Another 68,839 households reported having access to treated drinking water, but it is not piped.
Statin found that 503,411 households or a significant 57.1 per cent have access to piped water used for drinking, but said it is not treated. Another 85,392 households or 9.7 per cent have access to water for drinking from other sources not specifically identified, but it is also not treated.
The census found that 7.5 per cent or 66,843 households now use bottled water for drinking.
However, the low level of treated piped water used for drinking is not necessarily reflective of the state-owned National Water Commission's (NWC) services according to Statin's Director of Censuses, Demographics and Social Statistics Dr Valerie Nam.
Public relations officer at the NWC Karen Williams said the agency has a customer base of about 425,000, comprising residential and commercial consumers and that it treats all the water it supplies.
Consumption of the NWC's supplies is reflected in the census document by separate breakdown of households' source of water used for domestic purposes. It shows that 450,625 households or 51.1 per cent obtain the commodity from a public source and have it piped into their homes.
Another 140,678 or almost 16 per cent of households had water piped into their yard; 52,371 or about six per cent obtain it from standpipes and 10,776 or 1.2 per cent get it from catchments.