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  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the Jamaica Public Service Co. (JPS) has advised that it has started piloting the Smart City concept in New Kingston.
  • “This work contemplates the idea of a self-healing network, which means that when there is an outage in one area of New Kingston, the intelligent network will automatically correct the issue so that the shortage is short-lived,” she explained during her contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 14.
  • Mrs. Williams said that distribution automation switches, smart meters, public Internet connectivity, smart parking and air quality monitoring are being contemplated in the pilot.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the Jamaica Public Service Co. (JPS) has advised that it has started piloting the Smart City concept in New Kingston.

“This work contemplates the idea of a self-healing network, which means that when there is an outage in one area of New Kingston, the intelligent network will automatically correct the issue so that the shortage is short-lived,” she explained during her contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 14.

Mrs. Williams said that distribution automation switches, smart meters, public Internet connectivity, smart parking and air quality monitoring are being contemplated in the pilot.

“Discussions will be held with stakeholders to determine how the programme will be implemented in other areas, going forward,” she told the House.

Meanwhile, she informed that the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has indicated that it will be piloting a programme this year to curb the high rate of electricity theft.

“We support this initiative and look forward to the results. JPS has some ideas, as well, which they have been discussing with the Ministry,” she noted.

Mrs. Williams said electricity theft costs the country some US$140 million each year.

“This represents 17 per cent of electricity generated and is a significant contributor to high electricity costs. All of us who pay for electricity, pay approximately 8.5 per cent more on our bills, to cover the amount that is stolen. In addition, not many persons realise the hazard that is created by stealing electricity, such as the loss of life, limb and property,” she said.

JPS reported that last year, it removed approximately 170,000 “throw-ups”.

“Despite, the many community meetings, the ready boards (with a breaker, bulb, switch and socket) and prepaid meters, theft of electricity continues unabated, and it is not just certain communities; many billed customers are reported to be getting around the meters,” Mrs. Williams said.