Sat | May 15, 2021

OUR to review Guaranteed Standards for JPS and NWC

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2021 | 1:40 PM

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) says it will be conducting a comprehensive review of the existing guaranteed standards for the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC).

The guaranteed standards are minimum service-level agreements between the OUR and the utility companies to ensure value to customers.

Specialist in Consumer Affairs at the OUR, Collette Goode, said the OUR recognises that the guaranteed standards for the JPS and the NWC have been established for more than 15 years.

“Reviews and changes of the guaranteed standards are usually a part of the OUR’s process to determine new rates for the service providers, which is usually every five years. The OUR has, therefore, decided that it is time to conduct a comprehensive review of the guaranteed standards for JPS and the NWC, to ascertain, among other things, whether customers are of the view that the existing guaranteed standards for the JPS and NWC are still relevant,” Goode said.

The review is also expected to reveal whether any changes are needed to the guaranteed standards scheme, in ensuring that it meets the customer’s needs. It will also establish whether customers are satisfied or dissatisfied with the areas of focus under the existing guaranteed standards scheme for JPS and NWC.

“The comprehensive guaranteed standards review will also include looking at modifications to the compensation mechanism for JPS and NWC. This will assess whether changes are needed to the existing mechanism, to use the reconnection fee as the basis for deriving compensation for JPS as well as whether compensation for all NWC guaranteed standards should be made automatic."

She added: We’ll also look at JPS’s request to confer its existing guaranteed standards to overall standards, assess circumstances within which the JPS guaranteed standards would not apply, as well as look at the guaranteed standards for JPS’s prepaid metering service.” 

Meanwhile, the OUR says it will be publishing the consultation document to collect public feedback as part of the review process.

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