First Look

Electricity prices increase due to rising fuel costs

Jamaica Public Service Company Limited | 2016-06-14 00:00:00

Rates still lower than June last year

Jamaica’s energy company, JPS, is urging customers to conserve on their electricity usage, as the upward trend in oil prices has resulted in an increase in the cost of electricity.

The Company has announced that its customers will see an average 12.8% increase in their bills this month. This is due to a combination of factors: (i) an increase in the cost of the fuel used for electricity generation, due to rising oil prices on the international market; (ii) the impact of the recent increase in the Special Consumption Tax (SCT) charged on the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO); and (iii) the continued devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.

The overall increase will result in residential customers paying US 21₵ per kWh on average for electricity in June, compared to US 19₵ in May. This means that the average residential customer using 165kWh of electricity for the month, will see a J$500 increase in his or her June bill, which will move from $3,875 in May to approximately $4,372 this month.

“This is definitely not the best news for us at JPS, or for our customers,” said Kelly Tomblin, JPS President & CEO.  “2015 and early 2016 were particularly good for us, as our customers saw an average 30% reduction in their overall bills, because we consistently passed on the savings from lower oil prices and the improved efficiency of our generating plants. Unfortunately, with the price of world oil prices trending upwards, the cost of electricity will increase. The good news is that, in another 60 days we will begin to use LNG to generate electricity at our Bogue plant, and this will contribute to greater stability in the price of electricity,” she explained.

The JPS CEO pointed out that, despite this month’s increase, electricity bills are still 20% lower than they were in June last year, when customers were paying US 27₵ per kWh. The typical residential customer using 165 kWh would have paid $5,116 in June 2015 for the same usage for which he is paying $4,372 in June 2016.

“While we cannot control the price of oil, now is the time to take greater control of what we can – our energy consumption. Energy conservation is critical when prices are increasing, but it needs to become a way of life for every consumer. We must develop a culture of energy efficiency. No one benefits from waste - even when prices are low,” Kelly Tomblin stressed. “That’s why JPS is leading a number of initiatives to help our customers manage their energy usage. These initiatives range from prepaid meters to energy management seminars for businesses, to customer education programmes – including our PowerSmart reality TV show – to help our customers understand how they can use electricity more efficiently. In fact, we have an entire Energy Solutions team dedicated to helping our customers make the right decisions regarding their energy usage,” she said.

Tomblin further indicated that energy conservation, fuel diversification and the deliberate integration of more renewables are key to a sustainable energy future. “We are pushing ahead with the introduction of natural gas at our Bogue power station, and the construction of the new gas-fired 190MW plant in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine. By the end of 2018, approximately 50% of our overall generation will be from natural gas, and approximately 10% from renewables,” she said.

Jamaica continues to enjoy one of the lowest electricity rates in the region, with only Belize and Trinidad having lower rates generally. Trinidad has access to natural gas and Belize obtains 50% of its energy needs from renewables, particularly hydro-electric power and bagasse.

Posted By :Audrey Williams

Company Name : Jamaica Public Service Company Limited

Website :

Company Address : 6 Knutsford Boulevard

More press release from Jamaica Public Service Company Limited