JPS appeals to customers after OUR report

Saturday, January 19, 2019

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THE Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says it is working on a plan to improve internal efficiencies and broaden the base of contact information for customers.

The light and power company gave the assurance yesterday following a media statement from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) on Thursday in which it said the JPS and the National Water Commission (NWC) have not been meeting standards for notifying customers of planned disruptions.

The JPS says it will share its plans with the OUR before the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the light and power company yesterday appealed to its customers to submit current contact information, especially mobile numbers and e-mail addresses. The JPS said it spent approximately $25 million on outage advisories to customers, and updated 221,000 accounts with current contact information, but that notwithstanding its efforts, the company recognises that not all customers are receiving adequate outage notification.

The OUR said it has given the JPS and NWC until January 25 to explain the reasons for the quality of service standards breach, and the measures that are being put in place to ensure future compliance. According to the JPS, the company is required to notify customers at least two days ahead of planned outages.

According to the OUR, for the July to September 2018 quarter, the JPS reported a 47.7 per cent compliance rating in meeting this standard. “This is a 6.1 percentage points decline over the preceding period. JPS advised that it is yet to implement measures to ensure that its compliance rating improves,” the regulator stated.

The OUR said the JPS' report on its guaranteed standards performance showed that there were 17,634 breaches of the standards, which although represented a three per cent decline over the previous quarter, had attracted automatic compensation of $34.95 million.

“Similar to the preceding period, the standards with the highest incidents of breaches related to estimated bills (which restricts JPS from sending more than two consecutive estimates without a penalty) and reconnection (which prescribes that disconnected service must be restored within 24 hours of payment of all overdue amounts). Both standards account for approximately 93 per cent and three per cent of breaches and 91per cent and three percent of compensatory payments, respectively,” the regulator advised in its quarterly performance report.

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