JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Phillip Paulwell, said the new Electricity Act will prevent paying customers from being deprived of electricity.
  • The Minister was closing the debate on the Electricity Act, which was passed.
  • The Bill is aimed at providing a modern codified system for regulating the generation, transmission, supply, distribution and dispatch of electricity.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Phillip Paulwell, said the new Electricity Act will prevent paying customers from being deprived of electricity.

“The Leader of Opposition was concerned that sometimes, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) goes into an area and disconnects everybody, even those persons who are legitimate paying customers,” Mr. Paulwell said.

“In response, I wish to note that with the Bill that we are passing, the JPS’ licence and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) licence, provide sufficient safeguards to prevent the single buyer from depriving paying customers of electricity,” he said, in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 30).

The Minister was closing the debate on the Electricity Act, which was passed. The Bill is aimed at providing a modern codified system for regulating the generation, transmission, supply, distribution and dispatch of electricity.

It also seeks to promote transparency among participants in the electricity sector; clarify their roles and responsibilities; and facilitate efficient and sustainable development of the sector, supported by adequate levels of investment.

The new legislation also proposes to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources; prescribe the required standards in the electricity sector; ensure the safety of the public; and provide transparency in regulation.

The updating of the 125-year old Bill will also make it easier to bring new generating capacity to the power grid.

Minister Paulwell said the legislation represents the Government’s move to “finally put energy on the path that will enable it to be a real engine for growth of the economy.”

“Energy is so critical to the prospects of growth to enable us to become more efficient that it is absolutely crucial that we have the legal and regulatory framework to enable that,” Mr. Paulwell said.

The Bill will be sent to the Senate for its approval.