Business

Private water cheaper than NWC

Camilo Thame Business co-ordinator thamec@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 12, 2012    

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Can-Cara Development promises to distribute its potable water 26 per cent cheaper than the National Water Commission (NWC).

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) approved the rates to be charged for water and sewerage services in a St James community, given than it was less costly than the state-run water company.

"The regulator, consistent with its policy for small private water providers, has indicated that where rates are below or equal to those being charged by the NWC for equivalent services and rate categories, then it will offer its no-objection," said the OUR in its determination.

Can-Cara was issued two licenses for the treatment and distribution of water as well as to collect and treat sewage in Meadows of Irwin in St James, back in March.

Then, the company proposed that it will supply water and sewerage services to approximately 800 customers in the St James community.

In April, the private water company advised the OUR of the rates it proposed to charge customers and last month the company formally applied for approval of those rates.

Water utilities have to apply for rate increases 60 days in advance of the implementation date.

The no-objection, as the approval is called, comes into effect next Monday, and the rates will remain the same for at least 15 months.

Can-Cara is also required to adhere to revised quality of service standards and performance criteria.

In relation to guaranteed standards, customers will be entitled to compensation of four times the service charge of $400 a month in the event there is a breach.

Among those standards are a requirement to connect new customers within three working days, repair or replace faulty meters within 10 working days and reconnection for customers within 24 hours of receiving payment of overdue bills — all of which require the company to automatically compensate its customers, should it be in breach.

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