Customers of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) are this month paying an average of US$0.32 per kilowatt-hour for electricity, according to a statement issued by the light and power supplier today.
This represents a reduction in rates, compared to July, when customers paid on average US$0.35 per kilowatt hour, the JPS said.
According to the company, at US$0.32 per kilowatt hour, “electricity rates in Jamaica fall at about mid-range in the Caribbean, based on a 2011 survey done by the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC).”
It said the survey reveals rates ranging from a low of US 4.6 cents per kilowatt-hour to a high of US 59.9 cents per kilowatt-hour among participating utilities in the region.
“The difference in the rates is due mainly to the type of fuel used in electricity generation,” said the JPS.
The company said countries such as Jamaica, which depend heavily on oil for generation, tend to have higher rates, while those with greater fuel diversification or their own natural energy resources had lower rates.
“The shareholders of JPS are preparing to construct a new LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) power plant, which is expected to substantially reduce electricity rates by 2015, thereby increasing our competitiveness within the region,” the company said.
It added that “this reduction is expected to result from fuel diversification, as well as the introduction of newer, more efficient generating units.”