OUR statement that company owes customers millions shocks JPSTuesday, January 26, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) says it shocked by a release from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) issued earlier today indicating that the JPS owes customers millions for breaches of its Guaranteed Standards.
“We are surprised by the timing of this release from the OUR, given the fact that JPS is awaiting the response of the Ministry of Science Energy and Technology (MSET) on our application for the invocation of the force majeure clause in the licence that governs our operations,” Director of Corporate Communications at JPS Winsome Callum said in response to the OUR statement.
“Like many other businesses, JPS has also been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we took the necessary measures to provide service to our customers within the framework of the guaranteed service levels, we were constrained by the pandemic, and this led to underperformance in some areas,” the response noted.
The company added that the multiple Orders and actions taken by the Government under the Disaster Risk Management Act during the period March 13, 2020 to date, have resulted in significant restrictions on the movement of persons including work from home orders, curfews, isolation and the quarantine of sections of the island, all of which have severely restricted normal business activities.
“In particular, quarantines were imposed on the entire parish of St Catherine, sections of Kingston and St Andrew, Clarendon, St Thomas, St James, Portland and St Mary,” the JPS response said.
JPS said that it exhausted all measures to continue providing service to its customers, and to meet the Guaranteed and Overall Standards as well as its various performance targets.
“Despite the company's exemption from certain restrictions imposed by the Government, JPS had to implement its own safety measures to contain the spread of the virus amongst its workforce and to ultimately continue providing service.
“However, despite our best efforts, the usual quality of service to customers between the period March 2020 to date, was impacted and it is anticipated to continue for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said.
“ Importantly however, it should be noted that there are 17 Guaranteed Standards for the Electricity Sector, and JPS is over 95 per cent compliant overall,” it said, adding that “the company takes pride in upholding its obligation to make breach payments, especially in light of the fact that they are automatically paid to customers.” .
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