Thu | Jun 13, 2024

Improved streetlight billing system coming

Published:Monday | June 10, 2024 | 6:51 PM
The JPS says the new system will ensure that the energy used is accounted for with greater precision. - File photo

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says it will soon be implementing an improved streetlight billing system in a move to assure local authorities they are only paying for electricity that is consumed.

The JPS says the new system will do this by ensuring that the energy used is accounted for with greater precision. 

The update was provided to Mayor of Kingston Andrew Swaby, during a high-level discussion this morning with JPS Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery, Blaine Jarrett, and other utility and city officials.

“Under no circumstances do we want to hear that JPS is billing the Parish Councils for lights that are not working,” Jarrett emphasised.  “That is why the system is being upgraded as we speak, to ensure that all lights are individually metered and read for billing.  If a light for any reason is not working – then no electricity consumption is registered for that light for that period of time.” 

The JPS said the system has been developed as part of the SMART Streetlight Programme, and the metering function of the SMART Controllers is currently being evaluated by the Office of Utilities Regulation.

In the meantime, the JPS also expressed great concern regarding the issue of stolen streetlights. 

“As fast as we are replacing lights in some areas – is as fast as they are stolen, placing the pedestrians and motorists at risk.  This is untenable,” Jarrett stressed. 

The JPS representatives also pointed out that the rate of electricity theft, is a contributing factor to non-functioning streetlights.

“There are communities where streetlights do not work, simply because community members have destroyed their capacity to function, by stealing from the lights, resulting in the overloading and subsequent damage to them. This is completely unacceptable,” Jarrett asserted.

And the JPS said some streetlights owned by the National Works Agency (NWA) are to be transferred to it in December 2024.

 In 2023, the Government signed an agreement with JPS to rehabilitate 11 major lighting corridors owned and operated by NWA across Jamaica.  This exercise would culminate in the transfer of these corridors to JPS on a phased basis.  Of the 11 corridors nine are located in the Corporate Area. 

The corridors earmarked for rehabilitation of streetlights and transfer to JPS in December are:

  • Papine to Liguanea 
  • Liguanea to Lady Musgrave Road (i.e. Section of Hope Road)
  • Harbour View Round About to St. Benedicts Church
  • Harbour View Roundabout to Rockfort A
  • Harbour View Roundabout to Rockfort B 
  • Dunrobin to Molynes intersection 
  • Trafalgar Road

Other NWA-owned streetlights earmarked for rehabilitation during 2025 are:

  • Molynes intersection to Six Miles 
  • Michael Manley Boulevard

While JPS owns and operates approximately 118,000 streetlights islandwide, ownership of lights across the country is split between the JPS, NWA, the Urban Development Corporation and private owners.

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