Hefty Fines! Utility Providers Pay Out Over $39M For Service Breaches


Utility providers paid out over $39 million to customers for service breaches between January and March this year.

That’s according to a statement from the Office of Utilities Regulation, OUR’s latest quarterly performance report for the period.

Neika Lewis reports.

The OUR says more than $39,400,000 was paid out for breaches of the Guaranteed Standard, following the intervention of the regulatory body’s Consumer Affairs Unit.

The Jamaica Public Service company, JPS, accounted for almost 18,000 breaches during the period.

The estimated 4% increase in breaches compared to the previous quarter saw the company paying out just over $37 million of the total utility compensatory payment recorded over the period.

The OUR says estimated bills accounted for approximately 93% of compensatory payments.

It says the Guaranteed Standard restricts JPS from sending more than two consecutive estimates without attracting a penalty.

Meanwhile, the National Water Commission, NWC accounted for 530 breaches over the quarter, a 12% decrease compared to the previous quarter.

The regulators say these breaches had a potential pay-out of almost $1.9 dollars.

The OUR says the NWC actually paid out $1 million by way of automatic credits.

The regulator also says the remaining amount of just over $800,000 was for breaches requiring claim forms that were not submitted by customers for validation.

The regulatory body says the highest incidents of breaches for the NWC, occurred in the areas of access, meter reading, meter repair and replacement and meter installation.

It says these four standards represented 83% of the company’s potential payments.

Neika Lewis is an award-winning journalist with over 7 years of experience across radio, tv and the print media. A CARIMAC alum, Neika copped the Prime Minister’s Youth award for journalism in 2017. Her reporting on a Jamaican pilot incarcerated in Qatar in 2015 led to his release. Neika hunts for human interest stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *