JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Under the Community Renewal Programme and STEP UP Project, the JPS, which is funding the project, aims to facilitate the conversion of 2,000 non-paying users of electricity to customers over the next year.
  • This programme is part of a larger thrust of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, in collaboration with JPS and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), to regularize electricity supply in inner city communities.
  • The official opening of the service centre and the street lighting ceremony were held in McGregor Gardens on March 30.

Residents of McGregor Gardens are to benefit from a project through which LED street lights are being installed in the area, and a Jamaica Public Service (JPS) service centre established at the McGregor Gardens community centre, where persons can receive assistance.

This programme is part of a larger thrust of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, in collaboration with JPS and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), to regularize electricity supply in inner city communities.

Under the Community Renewal Programme and STEP UP Project, the JPS, which is funding the project, aims to facilitate the conversion of 2,000 non-paying users of electricity to customers over the next year.

The project seeks to test various methods to improve the residents’ ability to pay their electricity bills, such as reduction in consumption, innovative payment options, and increased public education.

McGregor Gardens is one of seven communities where the programme is being implemented. Other communities include Denham Town, Tower Hill, Arnett Gardens, Whitfield Town, Payne Land and Majesty Gardens.

The official opening of the service centre and the street lighting ceremony were held in McGregor Gardens on March 30.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew, Hon. Julian Robinson, explained the decision to have the project in McGregor Gardens.

“I wanted to have a community where we can see the challenges and work to overcome them… What we have done to date demonstrates that the partnership can work,” he asserted.

Mr. Robinson noted that 100 homes were rewired at no cost to the residents to facilitate connection to the grid.

The service centre will provide residents with assistance in energy and bill management, through payment arrangements and prepaid options. The office will also facilitate residents with LED and fluorescent bulb swaps, house wiring, refrigerator assessment, and replacement and Government Electrical Inspector (GEI) recertification.

The service centre will be staffed with trained Community Facilitators and JPS personnel who will monitor and evaluate the project during and after implementation.

President and Chief Executive Officer of JPS, Kelly Tomblin, said the power company is taking steps to lower the country’s energy cost.

“There is a solution for every Jamaican…and we have taken very real steps to be the energy company that you deserve. I know that this programme is going to work and (will) erase this scourge of using electricity without paying for it from Jamaica,” she said.

Meanwhile, JSIF will be assisting with the social intervention component of the project to facilitate behaviour change activities to assist residents through the process of becoming regularized.