My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Phillip Paulwell makes Net Billing official with 11 licenses issued - JPS Co invited via Mavado's Come Round a Mi Yard

Monday, May 21, 2012

Phillip Paulwell makes Net Billing official with 11 licenses issued - JPS Co invited via Mavado's Come Round a Mi Yard


In true West Indies Cricket style, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell has followed through on the groundwork laid by the previous Minister of Energy and Mining Clive Mullings and has finally implemented Net Billing as announce in The Jamaica Gleaner on Friday May 19 2012AD as stated in the article “Net billing licences awarded”, published May 19 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner.

For those with very short memories, the previous Minister of Energy and Mining Clive Mullings had laid the groundwork for persons and companies to be able to sell power to the JPS Co under a Net Billing arrangement and re-use that Electricity elsewhere via Power Wheeling as stated 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” .

Eleven (11) lucky householders who owned Alternative energy Gear at their homes were awarded their Net Billing Licenses that allows them to sell Electricity to the JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) Grid.

Thus by this gesture he has kept the promise made at the Press Conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston to kick off the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme and start issuing Net Billing Licenses as stated in the article “Net billing to be implemented this month”, published Wednesday, May 09, 2012 by Luke Douglas, The Jamaica Observer

Minister Phillip Paulwell also signaled his intention to be a part of the Net Billing scheme, as his house has Solar Panels installed, quote: “My PV (photovoltaic) system is fully up and running and I am now anticipating my JPS (Jamaica Public Service Company) bill later this month”.  He made these statements at a meeting of the Jamaica Energy Council held at Jamaica House Wednesday May 18 2012 a repeat of a similar statement made at the Press Conference earlier stated in the article “Net billing to be implemented this month”, published Wednesday, May 09, 2012 by Luke Douglas, The Jamaica Observer

 A rather progressive gesture at the meeting of the Jamaica Energy Council whose bipartisan mature has Senator Gregory Mair, Opposition Spokesman on Energy and Mining! 
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme is a bid to encourage the Public Sector to be more like the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and save on their Electricity Usage by changing their Utility usage habits as stated in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Labour and Social Security JA$9 Million Energy Savings - Mad Money for Happy Workers”.

Up to that time, ten (10) applicants had applied, so the eleventh persons came on at the eleventh hour, so to speak, within the month of May, bang on schedule. That eleventh person, based on the above statements is obviously the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell effectively a form of enlightened symbolism, due to the special significance of the number eleven (11) to any Grand Enterprise.

Quick Primer on Net Metering vs. Net Billing:
1.      Net Metering involves only a single bi-directional Electricity Meter that can measure Electricity flow going both ways i.e. from JPS Co Grid to the Customer Premises Alternative Energy Rig and from the Customer Premises Alternative Energy Rig to the JPS Grid.  When more power is supplied to the JPS Co than JPS Co supplies to the Customer Premises, the customer is credited at the end of as billing cycle for Power Sent to the JPS Co’s Grid.
2.      Net Billing involves the customer having has two Digital meters - one measuring power from the JPS Co Grid and the other the Electricity supplied by the Customer Premises Alternative Energy Rig to the JPS Co Grid . The customer is paid for the power supplied and billed for the power used, which on the face of it, makes no sense, but that how it is.

The above also suggests that there are other reasons for the changing out of Analog Meters to Digital Meters than just a shortage of spare parts to fix the older technology Analog Meters as opined in my blog article entitled “JPS Co New Digital Meters are all Smart Meters - Winsome Callum's A Simple Twist of Fate”  and as further explained in my Geezam Blog article entitled “JPS Co Analog Meter upgrade heralds Remote Billing Revolution”.

Even more interesting, this coming of Net Billing may also explain why after fiasco involving the JPS Co Digital Meters being suspected of overbilling were cleared by the J. Paul Morgan-led  JPS Co Review Team that had been charged with investigating the matter as articulated in  my blog article entitled “JPS Co cleared on Digital SmartMeters but chastized on 10-year backbilling - Future Plans from the Penguins of Madagascar”.

So what are the benefits of Net Billing to consumers?

Hopeton Heron, Deputy Director General at the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) explains, quote: “The bill from JPS is netted against the bill from the production and at the end of the month, the net bill to the customer”. More Details are given in the article “Jamaicans Awarded Net Billing Licences”, published Saturday, 19 May 2012 06:52 Written by the Jamaica Information Service:

1.      Residential and Commercial Customer have to sign a JPS Company Limited Standard Offer Contract (SOC) for the ‘Purchase of As-Available Intermittent Energy from Renewable Energy Facilities'
2.      The JPS Company Limited Standard Offer Contract period for the Net Billing License is five (5) years
3.      Residential and Commercial Customers are paid approximately US$0.25 per Kilowatt Hour
4.      Residential Customers are capped to supplying between 0 to 10 Kilowatt Hours of Electricity per billing cycle to the JPS.
5.      Commercial Businesses are capped to supplying between 0 to 100 Kilowatt Hours of Electricity per billing cycle to the JPS.

In light of this unknown variable, the above contracts are set to be assessed after two (2) years with a view to expand or reduce the Energy Cap based on an assessment after this period. In short, the very same benefits one would have accrued if one were not connected to the JPS Co Grid in the first place, making me wonder if this makes sense at all.

I might be biased, as I have argued in favour of Net Metering as opposed to Net Billing, as both are pretty much the same sans the extra Digital Meter as opined in my blog article entitled “Minister Clive Mullings retrogade step on Energy Sector Liberalization - JPS Co's Monopoly An Inconvenient Truth”.




Still this is a historic and interesting development and paves the way towards full Energy Sector Liberalization, allowing Residential and Commercial customers to invite JPS Co to Come Roun’ a Mi Yard,  Mavado Style, thereby saving on their Electricity Bill and making money at the same time.
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