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JPS gets 3-month stay to effect automatic compensation

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 1:24 PM

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has granted the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) its request for three more months to change the final four Guaranteed Standards (GS) from 'claim' to 'automatic' compensation.

The JPS had initially asked for four months but will now have to effect this change on September 1.

The OUR had determined that in keeping with Condition 17 of the All-Island Electric Licence (2011), breaches of all GS would attract automatic compensation. Therefore, it directed JPS, in its 2014-2019 Tariff Determination, that as at 2016 June 1, affected customers would no longer be required to submit a claim form to receive compensation when a breach has occurred.

However, JPS said that it needed more time to address technical and other issues that have an impact on its ability to make the standards automatic.

The OUR, in a statement, said that after careful deliberations, and indicating to JPS its disappointment with the development of the internal issues, it decided to grant an extension of three months, ending August 31, 2016. "The approved delay recognised the realities of the difficulties that JPS indicated and is intended to allow for completion of all technical and other work necessary for the conversion to take effect without resulting in disruption and inconvenience to customers," OUR said.

It reminded the JPS that notwithstanding the extension, the JPS was bound to honour claims submitted for any breaches of these standards.

"Customers are therefore encouraged to continue to make timely claims in order to be appropriately compensated for breaches by JPS," the utilities regulation organisation said.

The remaining JPS Guaranteed Standards that will attract automatic compensation as at September 1 are:

n Response to emergency - JPS should respond to emergency calls within five hours. Emergencies include: broken wires, broken poles, and fires.

n Acknowledgments - JPS must acknowledge written queries within five working days.

n Investigations - JPS must complete investigations and respond to a customer within 30 working days. Where investigations involve a third party, same is to be completed within 60 working days.

n Estimated bills - Customers should not receive more than two consecutive estimated bills, where the company has access to the meter.