JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon Phillip Paulwell has received an explanation from the Jamaica Public Service Company, following his call for an immediate explanation to the recent spate of power outages
  • The JPS has advised that it is making every effort to complete the restoration exercise and return customers to normal service as soon as possible
  • The company assured the Minister that given the impact of ongoing climate changes globally, and the possibility of a recurrence of another severe drought, JPS is taking steps to, among other things, source Insulator Pollution Monitors.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon Phillip Paulwell has received an explanation from the Jamaica Public Service Company, following his call for an immediate explanation to the recent spate of power outages and assurances that as far as possible and when necessary, outages should be scheduled and affected customers informed in a timely and reasonable manner.

“We have been monitoring the spate of unscheduled power outages that has been affecting consumers, particularly in Portmore, other sections of St Catherine and the Corporate Area. Of particular concern is the lack of timely explanation despite the frequency and length of the outages which in some instances last for several hours. While we are aware of the need to undertake special drought related maintenance, the customer is able to cope with the inconvenience when they are reasonably informed and assured of service restoration in the shortest time possible”, the Minister stated.

While appreciating the JPS explanation that the disruptions in the service has been caused in large measure by the buildup of line contamination from dust and salt, due to the extended drought and the need for ongoing washing of lines to alleviate the situation, Minister Paulwell is encouraging the company to be more proactive in addressing the problem.

“The JPS has advised that it is making every effort to complete the restoration exercise and return customers to normal service as soon as possible, and while we recognize and appreciate the efforts to address the problem, we must emphasize the need to schedule the interventions so that customers can be better prepared and more understanding. We cannot allow the company’s best intentions to be undermined by failure to engage and inform,” the Minister emphasized.

 

He cautioned that this approach is even more critical as the severe drought conditions may persist resulting in the need for the continued washing of the power lines in areas susceptible to dust, salt and other pollutants.

Meanwhile the JPS has assured that the company will continue to respond to outage reports as “quickly as possible, and we have put additional resources in place to serve our customers during this period. However, we ask for our customers’ patience and understanding, as there may be some delays getting through to our Customer Care Centre as a result of the increase in call volume, and our crews may take longer than usual to get to the various locations due to the number of outages”.

The company assured the Minister that given the impact of ongoing climate changes globally, and the possibility of a recurrence of another severe drought, JPS is taking steps to, among other things, source Insulator Pollution Monitors. These devices, the company explained, are designed to detect unusual levels of current on the lines due to the impact of pollution and will help to more accurately guide the company’s proactive maintenance activities.