JPS, NWC still not notifying customers about planned outages — OUR

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JPS, NWC still not notifying customers about planned outages — OUR

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) says the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC) continue to underperform in service standards which require them to notify customers about planned outages.

The findings are contained in the latest 2019 July – September Quarterly Performance Report published by the OUR.

OUR said that JPS is required to notify customers of planned outages, allowing at least 48 hours advance notice.

The regulatory body said that for the review period, although JPS showed a three percentage point improvement over last reporting period, they have fallen short of the 100 per cent compliance target as they reported an 82 per cent compliance rating for this standard.

OUR noted that the company has advised that it is in the implementation phase of the procedure that it has developed to monitor and measure its performance against this standard.

In regards to NWC, OUR said their Performance Targets provide for a 98 per cent attainment rate for 12 hours advance notification of planned service interruptions of a duration of no more than four hours. However, OUR said where a planned interruption is expected to be for more than four hours, the NWC is required to give notice of at least 24 hours, at a 90 per cent attainment rate.

Based on NWC's notifications to the public, the OUR said it attained a dismal 60 per cent compliance rate to provide at least 24 hours notice for disruptions of a duration greater than four hours, which is 30 percentage points less than the established target.

OUR said that NWC's 60 per cent compliance rate represents a steep 22 percentage point decrease over the preceding period.

It added that of the 10 related notifications received, only six were in compliance with the target.

“We are disappointed with these figures as neither NWC nor JPS has achieved the agreed targets which are not financially burdensome to them and would demonstrate concern and consideration for their customers,” OUR Director of Consumer and Public Affairs, Yvonne Nicholson said.

“In particular, because of NWC's sharp decline, we have written to them asking for further information as to their inability to meet and/or exceed the agreed 90 per cent compliance rating for Performance Target 12 as well as the measures that are being implemented to ensure that they are consistently in compliance with the agreed target. We will continue to monitor their compliance as we strongly believe that customers must be notified ahead of any planned disruptions,” Nicholson said.

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