JPS: No to flat rate for electricity thieves
Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Kelly Tomblin, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), says the utility company does not support a flat rate for people who are now stealing electricity.
The proposal was recently made by Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell as a means of regularising the illegal activity.
However, Tomblin says such a mechanism would not serve the greater good in the long run.
She says paying customers have been making the sacrifice to honour their bills and it would be unfair to give electricity thieves an easy pass.
According to her, non-paying individuals tend to use two to three times more electricity than paying customers.
Tomblin says the JPS’ position is that those who are genuinely having a hard time should get some kind of subsidy to help with their electricity bills.
However, she says the JPS maintains those who willingly bypass its system should be penalised and made to pay.
The JPS President and CEO also says it would be more useful to institute pre-paid metering instead of a flat rate.
Tomblin says this would allow persons to better conserve on electricity and pay only for what they use.
She was speaking last night at the Manchester leg of a series of consultations being held by the Office of Utilities Regulations on the JPS’ application for a tariff review.
Among other things, JPS has requested for an average increase of 21 per cent in the price of electricity for residential customers, and a 15 per cent increase for small businesses using less than 7,500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
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