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  • The Government is undertaking a combination of measures to deter persons from stealing electricity across the island.
  • These include the imposition of tougher penalties for persons found guilty of electricity theft, greater public education campaigns, and the implementation of ‘technology’, so that persons cannot breach the power systems.
  • This was disclosed by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, while responding to a question posed during an interactive session with students and teachers at the Harbour View Primary in Kingston today (November 10).

The Government is undertaking a combination of measures to deter persons from stealing electricity across the island.

These include the imposition of tougher penalties for persons found guilty of electricity theft, greater public education campaigns, and the implementation of ‘technology’, so that persons cannot breach the power systems.

This was disclosed by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, while responding to a question posed during an interactive session with students and teachers at the Harbour View Primary in Kingston today (November 10).

“We have just implemented a new law in Jamaica, where we have increased the penalties for the stealing of electricity to $1 million if you are caught and also for a term of imprisonment. We are therefore cautioning our people not to steal,” the Minister emphasised.

He said that some of these methods are guided by the new electricity legislation, which was passed recently in the House. The legislation seeks to provide a modern codified system for regulating the generation, transmission, supply, distribution and dispatch of electricity.

The Minister pointed out that the National Energy Solutions Limited (NESol) has  played a critical role in this endeavour, “and will continue to engage in providing infrastructure in various communities, where the activity of theft is prevalent.”

NESol is currently responsible for creating new energy solutions to expand the reach of electricity supply to rural areas and minimise unauthorised connections to the national grid in urban communities, through the build-out of renewable energy at the domestic level.

As it relates to public education, the Minister said that all age groups, particularly children, will be targeted and informed about the risk factors and penalties involved in electricity theft.

Mr. Paulwell reminded Jamaicans to always practise conservation methods to reduce their electricity bills, adding that these methods will ultimately assist in lowering the country’s oil import bill.

In the meantime, the Minister encouraged students to pursue careers in the areas related to Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering, adding that these careers are in demand and are lucrative.

The interactive session involved students from grades four, five and six at the Harbour View Primary, and formed part of activities to mark Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Energy Week School Tour. The week, which will run from November 9 to 13, is aimed at building awareness in the areas of energy conservation and efficiency.