Government develops national electricity loss reduction plan Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport (MSETT) has completed the development of a National Electricity Loss Reduction Plan.

This was done with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The plan, supported by the Energy Loss Independent Report of 2022, outlines a comprehensive strategy to address electricity theft. In 2023, losses totalled 27.8 per cent, of which 80 per cent were attributed to theft, with the remaining 20 per cent resulting from technical losses,” Portfolio Minister, Daryl Vaz, said during his 2024/25 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Vaz said the strategy outlines 10 key initiatives, costing US$74.5 million, with projected benefits of US$440 million over 10 years, suggesting a simple payback of just under six years.

“The MSETT plans to establish a National Task Force to work at reducing losses to 12.3 per cent by 2035,” the minister stated.

On another matter, Vaz said, in May 2023, portfolio responsibility for the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) was returned to the MSETT.

He indicated that the ministry continued with the arrangements that have been in place with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) since 2020 to manage the planning and implementation of design and execution of house-wiring and pole-line requests from start to finish.

The minister stated that, to date, the REP has received funding totalling $845 million to support the implementation of the house wiring and pole-line functions in selected urban and rural communities. 

“This is to ensure improved access to legal electricity, empower rural community development and improve community safety and security. The achievements under this programme have been significant and impactful,” Vaz further indicated.

He also noted that wiring has, to date, been completed for 2,403 houses in 19 communities, with procurement in progress for a further 700 homes to be wired during fiscal year 2024/25. 

Under the Pole Line Extension component, 13 communities have projects approved by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) that are now in active implementation.

In addition, a total of 6.7 kilometres of pole-line extensions is being implemented.