Mon | Sep 20, 2021

Higher electricity bills for October

Published:Wednesday | September 15, 2021 | 12:12 AM

Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) customers can expect to see an increase in their October electricity bills as a result of an average 1.4 per cent rate increase approved by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

The OUR made the announcement in a press statement on Tuesday in which it indicated that the increase took effect on September 1.

Residential customers (RT10) will see on average 1.2 per cent increase, while small commercial customers (RT20) will face a rise of 1.1 per cent.

For small commercial (RT40) customers, the increase is 1.5 per cent, 1.4 per cent for large commercial/industrial (Rate 50) customers, while large commercial customers (RT7) will see a 1.6 per cent increase.

The JPS had requested an average hike of 3.5 per cent.

However, the OUR, in approving an overall average 1.4 per cent rate increase for the utility company, said it considered factors such as the approval given for the revision of Time of Use (TOU) rates for residential and small commercial customers and the reduction of $0.113 per kWh to its average non-fuel tariff, which is to be applied by JPS to its customers over an estimated 10-month billing period.

The reduction rate is to cover an outstanding $297.1 million net recovery balance that is owed to customers following a decision in the 2018 Annual & Extraordinary Rate Review Determination Notice arising from the lapse of time between that decision and the implementation of the 2019-2024 Rate Review Determination Notice issued by the OUR in December 2020.

Others factors included the approval of non-fuel prepaid for residential and small commercial customers.

The application from the JPS marks the first application for an annual tariff adjustment following the conclusion of its 2019-2024 review process in December 2020.

The 2021 filing is in keeping with the annual tariff review provision in the Electricity Licence, 2016, which allows for adjustments to the company’s revenue targets each year, over the ‘life’ of the five-year tariff, to account for movements in factors such as inflation, the foreign exchange rate, and JPS’s technical performance.