Minister of Science, Energy, and Technology, the Hon. Daryl Vaz has criticized the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) for its poor handling of customer satisfaction issues, as well as questioning the company’s most recent increase that was granted by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
During an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Thursday, Minister Vaz expressed his disappointment that the 0.7% increase was granted by the OUR despite the company’s failure to address multiple long-standing customer service-related issues.
Listed among these issues were prolonged delays in adding new customers to the grid due to a shortage of necessary equipment and parts, which now numbers close to 100,000 residential customers. Another major issue cited by the Minister was the persistent unscheduled power outages, which most recently occurred two days ago, where 10,000 customers were left without electricity.
“The cost to the local economy and the severe inconvenience borne by thousands of Jamaicans due to a lack of electricity are totally unacceptable,” Vaz stated.
Minister Vaz also expressed his displeasure with JPS’s continued delays in the relocation of 1,000 poles to facilitate major infrastructural development in the country that would benefit its citizens. Despite several meetings and conversations with JPS officials where he has communicated the urgent need to rectify the unsolved problems, Vaz indicated that little has been done.
Whilst citing the decreasing confidence in the management of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Vaz stated that multiple requests have been made of the company. These requests include that JPS provides Cabinet with a report outlining how and when the issues will be resolved, as well as a report on steps taken to compensate anyone who could have experienced harm or a loss of income due to long and/or unscheduled power outages.