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Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, yesterday (Sept. 16), informed the House of Representatives, that the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company, has been directed to discontinue the extension of any billing period for customers beyond the 30 or 31 days, authorised by its licence.
“Customers who were wrongfully billed (some 9,000 customers) in this manner, are to have their next bills adjusted to ensure that the billing period taken over two months do not exceed 60 days,” Mr. Mullings said.
The Minister also stated that the Office of Utilities and Regulations (OUR), will review the sample calculations done by JPS before it is applied to bills of the affected customers. He added that customers will pay the amount due for each month, on the appropriate due date.
“In relation to these customers, there should be no disconnections for any unpaid amount between now and December of this year. I have requested that OUR verifies the number of affected customers,” Mr. Mullings informed.
In addition, the Energy Minister said that it was agreed that JPS would implement smart meters for residential customers, as soon as the roll-out for large customers is completed.
He also informed that prepaid bills will be done for residential customers starting with a pilot project in one community and that the JPS is to provide the Ministry with copies of the monthly reports – operational and technical, submitted to the OUR from the period January to July, 2008.
“Further, the OUR is to ensure the random testing of metres in the field and this is not now currently taking place,” Mr Mullings said.