CLAIMING he was distressed at the price of electricity at US 40 cents per kilowatt-hour, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said he is determined to ensure the full liberalisation of the energy sector to help drive down the electricity costs.
Speaking at a function in Kingston yesterday, Paulwell said that he was not prepared to wait on the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPS) three-year plan to bring down the cost of electricity to the consumer.
“I believe we have to free up the system. We have to liberalise. We have to enable the private sector with their R&D (research and development) to decide on the best technology for Jamaica at this time,” Paulwell stated.
The liberalisation of the market will not happen by “sitting around and waiting on a plan from JPS that in three years’ time we are going to do so and so”, the minister noted.
“It is when you unleash the spirit of competition, the vibrancy of the market, allow our consumers to finally become the rulers when it comes to energy,” he said.
Earlier this month, the JPS
Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says the government will be looking to re-institute the tax waiver on renewable energy products because taxing those products is counter productive to efforts to cut the country’s energy bill.
Mr Paulwell made the commitment at an AMCHAM meeting on Thursday February 9.
Renewable energy products had attracted a tax waiver but that was discontinued last June as part of the governments tightening up on tax waivers under the guidance of the International Monetary Fund, IMF.
In addition to re-instituting the tax waivers for renewable energy products, Mr Paulwell said he will also be pushing to have 30 percent or more of the electricity grid being supplied by renewable energy.
The original target was for 20 percent of energy to be generated from renewable sources, but Mr Paulwell says that target is not ambitious enough.
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
After months of mounting criticism about the high cost of electricity, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), will today outline plans to reduce energy costs.
The announcement will come at a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. today, at the company
JAMAICA Public Service Company (JPS) and National Water Commission (NWC) continue to report high levels of breaches of the guaranteed standards that are supposed to guide the quality of service that they deliver to customers, according to the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR).
In 2010, JPS reported 83,000 breaches, which would have cost the company $140 million if they had to fully compensate customers. Only $9 million of that amount was paid.