JPS Playing Hardball With OUR?

The Office of the Utilities Regulation (OUR) launched an investigation into the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), after a series of consumer complaints were made since July 2021 about prolonged power outages in several communities.

On October 4, 2021, JPS advised the OUR of the Transformation Protection Programme pilot project that they implemented to curtail electricity services in the affected communities.

Since the implementation of the JPS Transformation Protection Programme pilot project, it has been reported that a vast number of paying JPS customers have been affected in different communities across the island.

There was an extension of the initial 90 day “Cease and Desist” order that was given by the OUR to the JPS on October 15, 2021 which was extended with immediate effect on January 18, 2022 for an additional 180 days. This extension was a result of JPS’s non-compliance in providing critical data and information requested to analyze the result and publish the findings on the matter.

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Michel Gantois, JPS President & CEO had previously stated that “This ruling will make it so much more difficult for us to provide reliable service to customers in some communities, because of the recurring damage to the equipment caused by overload”.

Failure of the Jamaica Public Service to comply with the order given by the Office of the Utilities Regulation to suspend the operation of the Transformer Protection Programme pilot project within the time period stipulated may result in enforcement action pursuant to section 9 of the Office of Utilities Regulation Act.

Ealier, the president of the power company expressed hopes that the OUR’s decision after their investigation will be one of balance, with Gantois adding that it is JPS’s responsibility to protect their equipment to ensure reliability.

The OUR may extend the order as needed to complete their investigations on the matter.  

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