The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) explained that the higher light bills the customers are complaining about recently, are being driven by increased electricity usage.
In a statement Tuesday, the JPS said there are instances where residential customers have increased their electricity consumption by up to 50% and there has been a hike in the amount seen on their bills because of this.
Many customers are now spending more time at home, due to the lockdown because of COVID-19.
Despite an overall drop of 2.5 % in electricity usage for the month of March, since the start of the COVID19 outbreak residential consumption has gone up by approximately 3%.
“Persons who would have been out of the home, working for at least eight hours, in some instances, are now using more electricity, as they are now working at home. Children who are being home-schooled, due to the safety measures introduced by the government in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 had caused the hike as well,” a JPS spokesperson said in a statement.
When customers use the same number of kilowatt-hours in the present bill, as the previous one, they will notice that their current bill has remained relatively the same.
The JPS wants customers to efficiently use energy and to pay attention to the usage chart on their bills, as they track their consumption trends each month. They also sought to explain how the lower oil prices in the world will have an impact on bills.
Jamaica was more than 90 % dependent on oil which meant customers’ bills were impacted by the volatility of oil prices in years gone by. However, since both the Government and JPS sought to diversify Jamaica’s fuel mix in order to protect customers and promote energy security for the country.
The fuel mix is about one-third oil and two-thirds Liquefied Natural Gas, added to a small percentage in renewable,” the JPS spokesperson also added that at present LNG prices remain constant and it is higher than oil.
It is said that the fall in oil prices will not register much on bills now as a result of the changes that were made.