Opposition Senator raises concern that increased shift to solar energy use may cause possible hike in bills for remaining JPS customers
As more commercial and private entities are reportedly shifting to solar energy, one Opposition Senator has expressed concern that this growing trend will eventually lead to higher charges on the bills of customers still connected to the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) grid.
Senator Peter Bunting raised the concern in yesterday’s (October 14) sitting of the Senate, after Government Senator, Matthew Samuda provided a progress statement on the National Water Commission’s (NWC) Mona Reservoir Floating Solar Project.
According to the NWC, the project aims to fully satisfy the energy needs of the Mona Treatment Plant Complex resulting in savings of $35 million annually.
Senator Bunting noted that although solarization will help to promote clean energy and reduce energy costs for its users, the Government should clarify how it would respond if those remaining on the JPS grid should begin to see an increase in their bills.
He explained that despite its benefits, solarization could reduce JPS’ revenue, and to manage overhead costs the company may resort to increasing charges for its smaller customer base.
He explained further that these customers might not be able to afford it.
In response, Senator Samuda said the Government is aware of the concern and discussions have been held on the matter with the necessary steps being taken to facilitate an orderly transition to renewable energy.
He also argued that despite persons coming off the JPS grid, the utility company has experienced some growth.