JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Forty-six residents of Douglas Castle in St. Ann now have access to electricity in their homes, through work undertaken by the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) at a cost of $4 million.
  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, on Wednesday, March 18, turned on the switch to officially commission the service in the community.
  • In his remarks, Mr. Paulwell expressed satisfaction that his Ministry, through the REP, was able to fulfill a promise made to the residents to extend electricity supply to the area.

Forty-six residents of Douglas Castle in St. Ann now have access to electricity in their homes, through work undertaken by the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) at a cost of $4 million.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, on Wednesday, March 18, turned on the switch to officially commission the service in the community.

In his remarks, Mr. Paulwell expressed satisfaction that his Ministry, through the REP, was able to fulfill a promise made to the residents to extend electricity supply to the area.

He noted that the project has moved the Government one step closer to providing electricity access to every community in Jamaica. Electricity coverage is currently at 97.5 per cent.

“The vision of this administration is to get to 100 per cent…it is significant because worldwide, the average percentage of electricity per country is about 75 per cent, so Jamaica is doing well,” Minister said.

As it relates to the remaining 2.5 per cent of the population, now without electricity, Minister Paulwell informed that the REP will be transformed into an entity to be called Jamaica Ener­gy Solutions Limited (JESL), which will be responsible for developing renewable energy solutions for those households.

“There are some communities that are too far from the grid…they are so far away it doesn’t make sense to extend the grid, but we can put up single units to generate electricity using the sun, using the wind, using hydro power.  That is how we are going to conquer the rest of the country and that is going to be the mandate of a new REP,” he explained.

The JESL will also promote energy efficiency and conservation; and provide project management services for the design and implementation of energy solutions for major housing initiatives by agencies of the state, espe­cially where low-income earners are the targeted popula­tion for those solutions.

Minister Paulwell pointed out that the entity, which will replace the REP, will also focus on reducing the high levels of electricity theft across the island.