Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
EVEN THOUGH it continues to dominate the power generation and distribution business in Jamaica, changing circumstances on the local scene as well as global events are dictating that it cannot be business as usual for the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).
On Tuesday, President and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Tomblin said, in recognition of this, the light and power company had, more than a year ago, begun to make the necessary changes.
"The JPS of yesterday isn't the JPS of today, and it won't be the JPS for Jamaica. So one commitment that we've made is to continue to evolve and provide a solution for every Jamaican ... because no longer can we have a situation where I provide and you take," she declared at Tuesday's launch of a hybrid solar and wind power generator at the company's Ruthven Road office in St Andrew.
"We are truly in a partnership - how you use your power and how we work together to make sure that we are delivering the lowest cost ... . So we intend to continue to put the power in your hands and, if you haven't known JPS lately, I invite you today and tomorrow to get to know us again," Tomblin appealed to Jamaicans.
The CEO admitted that, since she took office, circumstances such as the country's annual US$2.25-billion oil bill had dictated it must partner with the Government in the area of improving energy conservation and efficiency.
"We are very serious about that ... from the linemen to metre readers, billing, every aspect of our com-pany has engaged in some soul-searching to say, are we prepared to lead the energy revolution, even when it hurts us?"
With the answer a resounding yes, the JPSCo had since begun the process of change by investigating with a view to getting an appreciation of the different circumstances of its customers from different income levels, in order to arrive at solutions beneficial to the company as well as its customers.
Tomblin explained: "We are having conversations with little people and saying, 'What do you need from JPS?'; looking at how they pay - by cash, electronically. We have started to develop a relationship with every Jamaican because we are serious about energy efficiency, even when it hurts us."
The company launched three versions of the SolarMill hybrid solar and wind generator which can be used to complement residential or commercial power supplies.