Government Moves to Reduce Energy Costs for Streetlights

Story Highlights

  • The local authorities currently pay for over 100,000 street lights from the proceeds of property tax.
  • The Ministry has undertaken a joint audit with JPSCo to determine the precise number and location of streetlights for which the local authorities have responsibility.
  • The audit commenced in September 2012, with the field work phase completed in September 2013.

The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, is working towards significantly reducing the energy consumption for streetlights, and cutting that cost.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott says the administration recognises the challenges faced by the local authorities and is well advanced in the process of implementing measures, which are geared at significantly reducing the energy consumption for streetlights.

“This will lead to significantly lower streetlight charges. Further details will be provided in the new financial year,” Mr. Arscott said. The monthly average energy cost for streetlights has increased by 35 per cent since the 2010/11 financial year.

The local authorities currently pay for over 100,000 street lights from the proceeds of property tax.

Responding to questions posed by Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Desmond McKenzie during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 18, Mr. Arscott informed that the Ministry has undertaken a joint audit with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPSCo) to determine the precise number and location of streetlights for which the local authorities have responsibility.

He said the audit commenced in September 2012, with the field work phase completed in September 2013.

“However the verification phase is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of April 2014,” Mr. Arscott said. A final report on the audit is expected to be tabled in parliament in the first quarter of the new financial year.

As a result of streetlight audit, for the first time the Government is gathering specific knowledge on the number and specific Global Positioning Systems (GPS) identified location of all streetlights for which local authorities have responsibilities.

The Local Government Minister said the results of the audit are being used to populate a newly developed database, which is being rolled out to all local authorities.

The database will allow each authority to track the number of streetlights for which it has responsibility; to confirm the monthly bill payable to JPSCo; to document and track any rebates payable to the Authority; and to monitor reported non functioning streetlights and the time it takes for each streetlight to be repaired and the specific location of each light.

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