Monday 13 July, 2020

JPS, NWC still missing targets in notifying customers of disruptions

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.

This quality of service standard is a part of the Overall Standards for JPS (EOS 1) and the Performance Targets for the NWC.

These findings are contained in the latest July – September 2019 Quarterly Performance Report published by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

Under EOS 1, JPS is required to notify customers of planned outages, allowing at least 48 hours’ (two days’) advance notice.  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.

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.

The NWC 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 4 hours.

However, 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, it attained an 80 per cent compliance rate to provide at least 24 hours’ notice for disruptions of a duration greater than four hours, which is 10 percentage points less than the established target. The 80 per cent also represents a two percentage point decrease over the preceding period.

Of the 10 related notifications received, eight 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 customer,” said OUR’s Director of Consumer and Public Affairs, Yvonne Nicholson.

Nicholson said the OUR has written to the utility companies for further information on their inability to meet and/or exceed the agreed targets as well as the measures that are being implemented to ensure that they are consistently in compliance with the target.

“We will continue to monitor their compliance as we strongly believe that customers must be notified ahead of any planned disruptions,” Nicholson added.

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