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JPS, JMA to tailor energy solutions for local firms

Published:Wednesday | July 24, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Winsome Callum, head of corporate communications at JPS. - File

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has extended an olive branch to players in the local manufacturing sector with a view to forging a partnership that could see manufacturers spending less on their electricity bills.

Under the partnership agreement, the JPS and the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) will come together to develop tailored energy solutions for different companies which are expected to be achieved through energy-management training, auditing, and recommended equipment upgrades.

"It's agreed that there is some level of control over the energy usage that the manufacturers can exercise, and what JPS will be assisting them with is how they can monitor their usage and the adjustments they can make to save significantly on their energy bill," Winsome Callum, head of communications at the JPS, said yesterday.

Meeting next week

Callum said the JPS and the JMA would be meeting next week Thursday to iron out the details.

"We recognise that it's not one size fits all for everyone, and one solution will not necessarily fit all the companies. We will be working with them as a group and as individual companies, and depending on the nature of their organisations, there will be different recommendations," Callum said.

Commenting on the partnership yesterday, JMA Executive Director Imega Breese-McNab said the association welcomed the move, especially in light of the crippling sum members have been spending on their energy bill.

"Lowering the cost of energy is something that the JMA has been advocating for years, and we feel that if we can get our cost of energy down, then we can enhance our competitiveness greatly," Breese-McNab said.

"While we wait for the 360- megawatt plant to come into effect, we feel that as manufacturers, there are things that we can do on our own to enable us to reduce our energy cost. What we are trying to say is that we are not going to sit around and wait, but we are going to look at things that we can do as manufacturers to enhance our competitiveness and increase our profit," she added.

The Office of Utilities Regulation is currently evaluating bids from companies seeking to construct a 360-megawatt power plant. The move is aimed at expanding the supply of energy to the national grid, which should result in the reduction of oil imports and the cost of electricity.