The Jamaica Public Service Company says it’s disappointed by the decision of the Office of Utilities Regulation, OUR to reject its application for a 21% increase in the non-fuel tariff paid by its customers.
The light and power company has been formally advised of the OUR’s decision to reject the proposal.
Nationwide News reported on Tuesday that after considering the proposal, the OUR not only rejected the request for an increase, but had ordered the JPS to cut the rate by approximately 1%.
The President and CEO of JPS, Kelly Tomblin says while the customers are happy, the JPS is disappointed.
In March 2014, the JPS submitted an application for a comprehensive rate review to the OUR.
Among the proposals was an average overall increase of 19% on the bills of Residential Customers.
The first 100 kilowatt hours of monthly consumption would continue to be significantly discounted as a way to reduce overall costs for residential users.
The JPS submission proposed the introduction of new Tiers for Energy Charges, with higher charges at the top tier of consumption, for residential customers.
But with the OUR’s rejection of the proposal, Kelly Tomblin says the JPS has been dealt a major blow.
JPS also asked for a reduction in the rate for large industrial customers and a reward mechanism for efficient users of energy.
This the company says was aimed at promoting economic growth for the country by providing incentives to encourage business expansion and job creation.
Ms. Tomblin says the company will now have to craft a new agenda.
Last year, she indicated that JPS will be appealing any decision by the OUR, for the JPS to reduce rates.
But today, she was less definitive on the company’s next move.
Meanwhile, the OUR says the JPS’ request to charge interest on commercial customers’ accounts was also rejected.
The light and power company had proposed to charge an interest rate of 15-percent on outstanding debt by commercial customers.
The regulator says the methodology and targets for fuel pass-through to customers were also adjusted.
It says the impact on customers’ bills will vary depending on a number of factors including rate class, consumption levels and prevailing fuel prices.
The OUR says it also denied JPS’ request to change from the price cap to a revenue cap regime.
It says it granted the JPS’ request for the continuation of an Electricity Efficiency Improvement Fund, EEIF, which was introduced in 2009.
However, the EEIF will now be more visible as a separate line item on bills.
The OUR has also approved the pre-paid metering for residential customers who agree to opt for this service.
It’s also mandated that by June 2016, all Guaranteed Standards breaches shall attract automatic compensation.