8,000 Rural Homes to be Wired for Electricity Over Next Three Years


The pace of the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) is being increased through the injection of $600 million, which will provide an additional 8,000 rural householders with electricity.
Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell, made the announcement during his contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (June 6).
Stating that “92 per cent of the entire country is electrified” he said this next phase will move that figure to 96 per cent over the next three years.
“Current estimates are that another 15,600 households remain to be connected to the national grid and another 860 kilometres of pole lines need to be erected in order to give these households access,” he said.
Under the project, householders will continue to benefit from the revolving loan programme to cover the cost of wiring their premises. Under this scheme, the customer will pay only 10 per cent of the cost of wiring with the remainder to be provided through an interest free-loan, which will be repayable over four years.
According to the Minister, the Rural Electrification Programme has achieved much success since it was implemented in 1975.
The initiative, he said, “operates on the premise that it would undertake the expansion of electricity services to rural areas, where the expansion of such services would not be financially attractive to a commercial electricity retailer such as the Jamaica Public Service.”
“That mandate remains and the REP is actively engaged in providing electrical distribution poles in non-electrified areas,” Minister Paulwell pointed out, adding that, “the REP also provides house wiring assistance through affordable loan programmes to rural householders.”

JIS Social