JPS to tackle electricity theft 'monster' in 2018

Monday, December 11, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Recently appointed president and chief executive officer of Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) Emanuel DaRosa says come next year, the light and power company will be embarking on a $2-billion smart meter technology programme as part of its campaign to mitigate electricity theft.

“Persons have got so creative in finding ways to illegally extract electricity that identifying electricity theft, in many cases, is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“We will therefore be increasing our use of technology in 2018 as part of our strategy to tame this monster and ultimately bring down electricity rate for our customers,” DaRosa said. “This includes a $2-billion investment in smart meter technology next year.

“Most of you are aware that for years JPS has been grappling with the problem of electricity theft,” he continued.

He was delivering the keynote address at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) 85th Anniversary Awards Banquet at Montego Bay Convention Centre on Saturday night.

According to DaRosa, renewables are among other key priorities that are critical to JPS and customers, which will continue to be the focus next year.

“We will also be placing more emphasis on renewables in support of the national strategy to achieve greater fuel diversity in the electricity sector. JPS has already made significant strides in helping to diversify Jamaica's energy sector by facilitating the introduction of LNG (liquefied natural gas) in electricity generation.

“We plan to take fuel diversity even further by becoming more involved in renewable energy. As a tropical island, we have the abundance of sun, water and wind, which we must explore in a much deeper way going forward,” DaRosa said.

He added that customer service improvement also remains a priority for the light and power company.

“Our focus is on providing convenient and more options for our customers, even as we continue efforts to reduce cost,” the JPS CEO said.

Meanwhile, Montego Bay businessman Godfrey Dyer was inducted into the MBCCI Wall of Fame, joining hotel mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Joe Witter, Ralph Smith, and Tony Hart.

— Horace Hines

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