First Look

JPS and NWC Customers get over $36 M compensation in 2018 second quarter

Office of Utilities Regulation | 2018-09-27 12:52:00

Customers of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC) were paid more than $36 million between April and June 2018, for service standards breaches.
This is a thirteen percent (13%) decline over the preceding quarter where the two utilities paid out some $41.5m to its customers.
This information is contained in the April-June 2018 Quarterly Performance Report (QPR), published by the Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) at the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
Compensation paid by JPS during the April-June 2018 quarter amounted to approximately $35.37 million for breaches of its Guaranteed Standards. JPS’ compliance report indicated that 17,634 breaches were committed, which represents a 12% decline in the number of breaches compared to the preceding quarter. All compensatory payments were made through automatic compensation to customers’ accounts. Frequency of estimated bills accounted for approximately 93% of breaches.
The NWC reported that it committed 632 breaches during this reporting period, representing a 75% increase in the number of breaches over the preceding quarter. The potential pay-out by NWC was $2,176,260. However, actual payments amounted to $768,200, representing 35% of total potential payments. All actual payments were made by way of automatic credits to the affected accounts. The remaining 65% of potential payments not made, represented those breaches for which the required claim forms were not submitted by affected customers.
Through the intervention of the OUR’s Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU), $87,708.27 was secured for utility customers. Of this, C&WJ (Flow) and Columbus Communications (FLOW) accounted for 2% and 53% respectively with the NWC accounting for the remaining 45%.
During the April-June 2018 period, the number of contacts to the CAU decreased by 30% to 714, compared with the preceding quarter. Contacts relating to billing matters (-31%), service interruption (-39%) and service connection (-39%) accounted for the most significant declines over the preceding period. Despite the reduction in contacts during the quarter in review, billing concerns (48%) continued to be the main reason for customers contacting the CAU.
The OUR also receives reports from JPS and NWC on their performance in notifying customers within a specified timeline ahead of planned service disruptions. This is also part of the Overall Standards for JPS and the performance targets for the NWC.

For the review period, JPS reported a 53.7% compliance rating in meeting this standard (EOS 1), which represents a 6.7 percentage point decline over the preceding period. The JPS’ target is to provide 48 hours’ advance notice in all instances of a planned outage.
NWC attained a 95% compliance rating with its standard that requires them to provide at least 24 hours’ advance notice prior to disruptions of a duration greater than 4 hours, in at least 90% of instances of planned disruptions.
The full report can be viewed on the OUR’s website:

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