Jamaica’s energy system is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels, petroleum imports account for over 90 percent of energy usage. This oil import dependency comes at a high cost. Oil import costs peaked with the global oil price spike in 2008, reaching US$2.7 billion. Import costs remain high and can be expected to increase further as oil prices rise in the future. Electricity prices for Jamaica’s people have also shot up dramatically in recent years, reaching a high of US$0.42 per kWh. Consequently, Jamaica has been charting a new path to energy security based on domestic renewable energy sources in order to build an energy system that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable.
The electricity generation sector is Jamaica’s largest petroleum consumer. The average efficiency for oil and diesel-fired steam generation in Jamaica is low, at 29 percent. Electricity losses on the grid are declining but still high, at 26.5 percent, of which 8.6 percent are technical and the rest are from theft and illegal connections.
The hotel & tourism sector faces high electricity costs due to lighting and air-conditioning needs (up to 10% of revenue for some hotels).
The National Water Commission is Jamaica’s single largest electricity customer, with electricity costs accounting for nearly 40 percent of annual revenue. It is currently undertaking rehabilitation efforts on pipelines and storage reservoirs to reduce energy consumption.
The Government’s primary objective is to diversify the national energy supply into a mix of energy sources for energy security. The policy of the Government of Jamaica is that there is little restriction on the sources of electricity generation and may include solar photovoltaic, wind, hydro, biofuels/biomass, waste to energy solutions, and natural gas.
Jamaica Public Service Company Limited is Jamaica’s sole electric utility, serving the population of 2.7 million.
Principal Director, Energy Division
Tel: 876-929-8990, 876-920-4449
JAMPRO – An Agency of the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector. In facilitating the implementation of investment and export projects, the organization is a key policy advocate and advisor to the Government in matters pertaining to the improvement of Jamaica’s business environment and the development of new industries.
Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) – JPS is the sole distributor of electricity in Jamaica.
Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) – A statutory corporation under MSET, the PCJ has the exclusive right to explore for oil and develop Jamaica’s petroleum resources.
Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) – The Office of Utilities Regulation is responsible for the regulation of Electricity, Water and Sewerage, and Telecommunication sectors. The OUR’s objectives is to ensure that consumers of utility services enjoy an acceptable quality of service at reasonable cost while maintaining transparent, consistent and objective rules for the regulation of utility service providers.
Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) – The COJ’s objective is to enhance trade and commerce through the efficient registration and regulation of businesses and the provision of accurate information. The COJ registers local and overseas companies, and individuals carrying on business in Jamaica. Where necessary, the COJ initiates court action against delinquent clients to ensure compliance with all provisions of the law.