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OUR to help JPS with exceptions under Guranteed Standards Programme

Featured OUR to help JPS with exceptions under Guranteed Standards Programme
The Office of  Utilities Regulation (OUR) says it will work with the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) over the next three months, to develop a list of  exceptions under which the Guaranteed Standards Programme may be suspended.

The OUR's Determination Notice issued on Thursday, revealed that the electricity company breached 12, 000 standards on a quarterly basis which means customers were due compensation of  about 30-million dollars.

However, because of  the low level of  claims, only J$1.2 million was paid to customers.

Customers are currently required to file a claim for compensation for most breaches, but the Office says it will extend automatic compensation on a phased basis starting June 1 this year when breaches of  8 of  the 18 standards will attract such compensation. 

The OUR has told the JPS that it cannot recover from customers, any losses it may incur under its early payment incentive and late payment penalty programme. 

The Office says it is aware there are circumstances which can warrant a suspension but they should be restricted to those that are outside of the company’s control and must be specific to individual standards. 

The scheme, which now has 18 standards, was developed in 2002 to ensure that the JPS meets minimum service level requirements to its customers. 

In 2013, the OUR issued a no-objection to JPS in relation to the establishment of the Loyalty Reward Programme designed to reduce the over one billion dollars in arrears by residential customers and encourage early or on time payment of  bills.

The JPS reported that it had net earnings of  just over US$ 1 million from the programme. 

The company is however fearing that with early payment compliance now above fifty percent, it will have to find funds from its own operating resources to pay the incentive or suffer a loss under the programme.           

However, the OUR has told the company it cannot recover from customers any loss which it may incur, as the Loyalty Reward Programme is not a necessary service required to deliver electricity. 

The regulator says any adjustment to the programme must receive its approval or non-objection.   

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