My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: JPS Co cleared on Digital SmartMeters but chastized on 10-year backbilling - Future Plans from the Penguins of Madagascar

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Monday, October 24, 2011

JPS Co cleared on Digital SmartMeters but chastized on 10-year backbilling - Future Plans from the Penguins of Madagascar


We, in the conduct of this investigation, have found absolutely no evidence to suggest or even substantiate any claim that the electronic meters that are being installed by the JPS are inaccurate.

 J. Paul Morgan, Head of the JPS Co Review Team

Folks the Report on the shenanigans of the JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) is out and about scaring us just in time for Halloween on Monday October 31st 2011! In the article entitled “Report on JPS ready”, published Thursday, October 20, 2011, The Jamaica Observer, the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) indicated its readiness to reveal its findings.

Curious, as they [OUR] are themselves need in investigating after making recommendations based on the say-so of Washington DC-based Energy consultant Castalia, who for reasons unknown, poo-pooed Energy Sector Liberalization, stating it would increase JPS Co rates for Residential and Commercial Customers as analyzed in my blog article entitled Minister Clive Mullings retrogade step on Energy Sector Liberalization - JPS Co's Monopoly An Inconvenient Truth”.

So the results are out and a lot of Jamaicans are displeased: JPS Co has gotten a slap on the wrist as per the article “JPS in the clear”, published Saturday, October 22, 2011 BY ALICIA DUNKLEY Senior staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer.




The newly installed Digital Meters are not responsible for the overbilling, as no conclusive evidence points to this being the case as per the article “New electricity meters are accurate”, says review team, published Saturday October 22 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner. Sure they are more accurate, being as they are Digital and not electromechanical.

This as the JPS Co Review Team, lead by J. Paul Morgan, tested a set of forty (40) Electrical Meters: twenty (20) Electromechanical and twenty (20) Digital. He concluded thus, quote: “We have come to the conclusion that about 18 per cent of the accounts where meters have been changed, there is going to be some problems associated with those accounts”.

Translation: some of those people will notice slight increases in their bills, as pointed out in the article Brace for Bigger JPS Bills – New accurate Meters are installed”, published Sunday October 9th 2011, Tyrone Reid, The Jamaica Gleaner.





But with a sample size of only six thousand (6000) meters slated to be installed (note, slated…that’s not the full installed base of Digital Meters!) by the JPS Co, based on their Press Release by  JPS Co Corporate Communications Manager Winsome Callum as referenced in the article Brace for Bigger JPS Bills – New accurate Meters are installed”, published Sunday October 9th 2011, Tyrone Reid, The Jamaica Gleaner indicates that they could not be the source of all those incidents of overbilling.

After the guinea pigs [Residential and Commercial Customers using Digital Meters] have made the successful run though the mill and stuff, a slated roll-out of seventeen thousand (17,000) meters will be then installed using one (1) of the four (4) optional settings for the Digital Meters as explained in my blog article entitled “JPS Co New Digital Meters are all Smart Meters - Winsome Callum's A Simple Twist of Fate”.

A foible of logic overlooked by those seeking to pillory the JPS Co which the level heads at the JPS Co spotted and pointed out in their report. Plus, the Digital Meter upgrades is a test run for a future island wide replacement of electromechanical Meters for the more accurate Digital meters, as parts are in short supply in an international market slowly drifting away from the older technology.

More sensibly, the Digital Meter “Guinea Pigs”, six thousand (6000) strong,  are a part of JPS Co move towards a Remote smartmetering facility (….for they are smartmeters, the JPS Co Corporate Communications Manager words merely Media Obfuscation!!) that accommodates the possible coming of these new “Pre-Paid” Electricity services.

Not to mention the ultimate way to combat JPS Meter Power thieves as per the article “Power thieves multiply”, published Saturday October 22, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner, as these Digital Meters cannot be tampered with so easily, as these Digital Meters are tamper-proof. Plastic insulator on the JPS Co lines will deter throw-up connections.

Services from the JPS Co that will make using electricity like topping up credit on your mobile phone as explained in my blog article entitled “JPS Co New Digital Meters are all Smart Meters - Winsome Callum's A Simple Twist of Fate”.

Flip the script a bit: imagine buying only the amount of electricity to use in a house for the number of days you plan to stay? And paying not a penny more, a welcome boon to those Jamaicans living in the so-called Garrisons that the new Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness plans to dismantle as per the article “'End Garrison Politics Now', published Monday October 24, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner.

After the successful test of the more accurate JPS Co Digital Smartmetering facility, JPS Co can do that and more as my article suggests. Interestingly too, it also paves the way for the baby steps in Energy Sector Liberalization via Net Billing (I prefer Net Metering!!!), Power Wheeling and Alternative Energy Caps increases to 15MW as explained in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Energy Clive Mullings alters the JPS Co License for Energy Sector Liberalization - Jamaica and The Sun Salutes You”.

Ok.

So the hyper-accurate JPS Co Digital smartmeters are cleared. The backbilling practice was unfair and hopefully, upon review, should be repealed. Again J. Paul Morgan, Head of the JPS Co Review Team, quote: “There is absolutely no basis on which they can establish how long ... the customer has been receiving and benefiting from that service.”




A real talker, he went further, quote: “No matter how you cut it, there is an allegation of some sort of wrongdoing and the company then tries to apply the full force of the provisions, in that, they can recover for the statutory period of six years. They don't have the means to apply the appropriate test to prove that the individual has been using the service for that period.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

So as the boffins at JPS Co are cleared to continue their smartmeter expansion, with future benefits to all and a welcome mat spread out for competition, Penguins of Madagascar Style!
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