October 15, 2020
JPS welcomes the OUR’s verification of the accuracy of bills following some customers’ experience with higher bills in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The OUR has confirmed that the higher bills were a result of a combination of increased consumption and the monthly changes in the cost of fuel, power purchased from other power producers and the exchange rate.
The Company has also noted two points raised by the OUR, which it has worked to address. The first point being compliance with the number of billing days permitted: JPS has now addressed the issue of extended reading periods, with bills now being set at 31 days. Exceptions to this will be rare.
The second point raised by the OUR is notification to residential customers in the event of a 30% increase or decrease in consumption, over the previous month’s reading. JPS has tackled this with a series of initiatives:
First, in July, JPS began sending out pre-alerts to customers, half-way through their monthly billing cycle, to inform them about the trend of their usage, and advising them on conservation information, should they require same. Then, since August, for customers who did not receive a pre-alert, JPS has been sending text messages and emails to notify them if their consumption had increased or decreased by 30% or more, over the previous month.
And most recently, JPS launched its new and improved myJPS Mobile App, which is able to supply smart metered customers with energy usage information throughout the month, so that customers can keep track and manage their costs.
The Company is also engaged in a number of initiatives to reduce estimated billing, and JPS continues to appeal to members of the public, to facilitate access to the meters on their premises, in order to avoid estimates.
Overall, JPS is pleased with the report, but more importantly, with the opportunity to promote greater understanding around its efforts to improve the experience of our customers islandwide.