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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has completed an analysis of the proposed tariff on street lights.
  • The Ministry has submitted its recommendations to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
  • What usually obtains is that the Ministry would simply have to accept whatever tariff is approved by the OUR, based on submissions by the JPS.

The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has completed an analysis of the proposed tariff on street lights and has submitted its recommendations to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, while making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, June 17.

He said this is significant for the Government, as what usually obtains is that the Ministry would simply have to accept whatever tariff is approved by the OUR, based on submissions by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS).

Mr. Arscott explained that from this new proposal, a specific tariff system will be proposed for LED street lights, as well as a new system of measurement that will recognise smart street lights that can be dimmed at various times, thereby utilising less electricity.

Additionally, the Minister informed that the Government is also working to complete a joint audit, with JPS, of all street lights installed, complete with Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping.

The Minister said all this is being done as part of Government’s efforts to reduce the energy consumption for street lights and cutting the costs by at least $1 billion annually.

In the meantime, Mr. Arscott said he has been working closely with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining in the negotiation of the impending new All Island Electricity Licence to resolve a number of key issues relating to street lights, “that could have become an obstacle to getting more efficient street lighting.”

“We have also had several consultations with the JPS, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), and the Ministry of Finance to pave the way for the introduction of modern street lights,” the Minister said.

He lamented that under the current arrangement, the Government has not been able to benefit from the reduction in costs associated with the deployment of efficient street lights.

Mr. Arscott said the archaic system for the monitoring, repair or replacement of street lights has been found to be ineffective, as many lights across the island are now defective.

He noted that as such, the Ministry and the Local Authorities continue to work towards the replacement of the existing street lights with efficient LED bulbs.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for this new programme will be issued shortly, and the Ministry expects to complete the procurement process by the end of this fiscal year, he informed.