My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: JPS Co's Prepaid Meters coming in 2016 - Why Prepaid Meters adoption will explode in Jamaica

Sunday, December 20, 2015

JPS Co's Prepaid Meters coming in 2016 - Why Prepaid Meters adoption will explode in Jamaica

Prepaid electricity has been under testing in certain parts of Jamaica since April 2015 as reported in my blog article entitled “JPS Co's Prepaid Power now in Jamaica - How @myJPSonline PAYG means a Digital Meter with smartphone App for 5 KWh Advances”.

So it's nice to know that the JPS Co has finally decided to expand the PAYG (Pay as You Go) Prepaid Meter system islandwide as noted in the article “JPS to offer prepaid meters islandwide next year”, published Friday December 18, 2015 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner

JPS is planning a limited pilot of the programme across several parishes, specifically:

1.      Kingston
2.      St Andrew
3.      St Catherine

They already have some 800 plus customers testing out their PAYG (Pay as You Go) Prepaid Meter system as noted in my blog article entitled “800 for JPS Co's Prepaid Power in 2 Months - How @myJPSonline PAYG spreading like Wild Fire among 2000 Guinea Pigs in the Summer of 2015”. 

With this latest guinea-pig trial, the JPS Co intends to sort out the bugs in the system before a full islandwide roll out throught 2016.

Good to note that Commercial and business operators will initially not have the ability to test out the PAYG (Pay as You Go) Prepaid Meter system; this is strictly for residential customers and Rate 20 (general services/small commercial) customers who indicate that they're willing to be a part of this experiment.

Interestingly, Prepaid meters are not a part of JPS Co's strategy to combat electricity theft. 

Rather it is aimed at giving options to customers who may find it difficult to pay for electricity on a monthly basis, to quote a JPS Co Statement: "Prepaid electricity service was never designed, and is not intended, as a tool to fight electricity theft.  It has, however, [proven] to be a very effective tool for budget-conscious customers who want more control to tailor their consumption to match how much they have to spend at any given time".

So with Prepaid Electricity meters set to reduce electricity usage, how will this make JPS Co more money?

JPS Co's Prepaid Meters coming in 2016 - Why Prepaid Meters adoption will explode in Jamaica

Actually it won’t, really! JPS Co is expecting reduced revenues from the implementation of Prepaid power, even though the rates for Prepaid power users will be significantly higher.

 In fact, they're predicting as much as JA$400 million per annum reduction in revenue as noted in the article “JPS Stands To Lose $400m Yearly From Prepaid Meters”, published Sunday December 6, 2015 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner

In the first three Quarters of 2015, JPS Co made the following:

1.      US$583 million in revenue
2.      US$23.7 million in net profit
3.      US$12.5 million in net profit in 2014

They're expecting an even greater increase in profits once a new tariff is implemented based on discussion with the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation), to quote JPS Co in a statement: “Designing and developing a new tariff for a new utility service can be a complex matter and JPS and the OUR have been in discussions for many months on the subject. This involved JPS making submissions to the OUR, showing different forecasts of what we believe the demand for the new service will be over time and the impact this will have on revenues, depending on the rate and structure of the tariff design”.

Their rollout of Prepaid power will give Jamaicans more choices as it relates to paying for the Electricity they use, modernizing JPS Co in the process, according to a JPS Co Statement quote: “It is intended for those Jamaicans who have asked us for a payment option that can better assist them in predicting and budgeting for their electricity bills. Although new to Jamaica, prepaid electricity is a standard service product offered by many electric utilities the world over for decades”.

Add to that the fact that Digicel owned Paymaster is again processing bill payments for JPS Co as noted in my blog article entitled “Why CONEC Mobile Money to pay JPS Co EBILL before Digicel Paymaster Mobile Money”.

This hints at a coming possibility of being able to pay your Electricity bill via a Mobile Money service, most likely as an upgrade to JPS Co’s Bill payment app.

With this level of convenience, expect Prepaid Power to dominate the Electricity landscape in 2016! 


No comments: