OUR amends JPS and NWC guaranteed standards

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has made several changes to the guaranteed standards scheme for the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC).

The guaranteed standards are minimum service level agreements between the OUR and the utility providers to ensure value to customers.

A breach of a guaranteed standard results in a compensatory payment to the affected customer’s account.

In a release today, the utility regulator said it has reduced the number of guaranteed standards for JPS’ post-paid service from seventeen to fourteen and the NWC’s from seventeen to fifteen.

It noted that it has also introduced, two new standards for JPS related to its prepaid service.

The first new standard addresses the timeliness of meter replacements, requiring the company to verify and replace defective meters within 48 hours when the supply is disrupted and 20 working days when the supply is not disrupted.

The second standard addresses the timeframe within which the electricity supply becomes available after a successful top-up.

The OUR says JPS must ensure that the kilowatt/hour amount purchased is available to the customer within five minutes, while accounts suspended for insufficient funds should be re-instated within 30 minutes of successful top-up.

Meanwhile, the OUR has revised the NWC guaranteed standard regarding compensation level for all rate classifications to two times the monthly service charge for general compensation and three times the monthly service charge for special compensation.

The OUR notes that the mechanism used to determine compensatory payment for breaches for JPS residential customers will now be a fixed amount.

This will be based on 20% of the calculated average residential customers’ bill.

There will be no change in the compensation mechanism for commercial customers, and so it will remain at five times the customer charge.


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