JIS News

Story Highlights

  • JPS CEO, Kelly Tomblin, says the company has no intention of disconnecting power to essential services, in its bid to recover billions of dollars in unpaid bills.
  • Ms. Tomblin said if disconnections are to take place, only non-essential facilities will be affected.
  • The CEO said discussions are ongoing to assist the Government to meet its energy costs.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Kelly Tomblin, says the company has no intention of disconnecting power to essential services, in its bid to recover billions of dollars in unpaid bills.

Speaking  to journalists following the official unveiling of the 78-kilowatt solar mill roof top solution at the Myers, Fletcher and Gordon offices in downtown Kingston on July 10, Ms. Tomblin said if disconnections  are to take place, only non-essential facilities will be affected.

“We are not going to jeopardise somebody’s safety and disconnect streetlights. But there are some buildings that we believe should be subject to disconnection, but certainly not hospitals, not essential services,  and not anything that would jeopardise safety or human life,” she said.

The CEO said discussions are ongoing to assist the Government to meet its energy costs.

“We have sent a proposal to the Minister of Finance that we work on ways we believe they (Government) can lower their energy bills, but when we say we are going to disconnect, we will only disconnect non essential services,” she said.

In the meantime, Ms. Tomblin used the opportunity to clarify comments she made last week regarding the Government’s unwillingness to pay its bills.

“The Government of Jamaica has difficulty meeting their energy cost, and I misspoke if I said they don’t like to pay…they struggle to pay, so what happens then is that they pay late, so I have to pay Petrojam 11 per cent interest and by the time they pay, the foreign exchange has changed so much,” she said.    The Government owes the JPS just under $2 billion in outstanding payments.

With regards to non-functioning streetlights, Ms. Tomblin said a customer information system will come on stream August 5 to better manage reports of defective street lights.

She also pointed out that work is being done through Parish Managers to repair a percentage of defective streetlights.

Ms. Tomblin informed that one of the reasons for some of the streetlights not working is because persons are attempting to steal electricity.

She said there are 119,000 streetlights across the island, of which the Government pays for 98,000.