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OUR meeting with JPS over decision to cut electricity

Published:Tuesday | May 13, 2014 | 1:19 PM

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is now meeting with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) over the company’s decision to cut the number of hours it provides power to some communities.



The meeting started at 11:30.



Yesterday the JPS confirmed it would be reducing the number of hours that power is provided to communities where more than 70 per cent of the electricity is stolen.



Some inner-city Kingston communities have been named in the initial phase and could lose electricity for up to eight hours per day.



The OUR has asked the JPS to provide certain critical information such as the number of paying residential and commercial customers in the affected areas.



The regulator also wants information on the level of damage done to equipment belonging to the JPS as a result of electricity theft in these communities.



Meanwhile, JPS’ chief executive officer, Kelly Tomblin has indicated that the decision is aimed at getting politicians to act in the best interest of their constituents.



Tomblin has hit back at the governing People’s National Party which has demanded the company say whether it has used all other available methods to accurately target and identify illegal connections.



Tomblin is insisting that the company has tried every option available to it and they have yielded little success.



She says the current curtailment policy of cutting electricity could change if other relevant suggestions are provided.



Prominent attorney Bert Samuels says the JPS could run afoul of local laws if it continues to deprive paying customers of electricity supply at the expense of electricity thieves.



The JPS says it has 600,000 paying customers.



Another 200 thousand are alleged to be stealing electricity.



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