The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is calling for a national response to the rising fuel prices, in the wake of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
In a statement, JPS noted that the company is concerned about the impact the increasing costs will have on its customers.
Jamaica is heavily dependent on imported oil and natural gas for the production of electricity, and for transportation and manufacturing.
JPS Chief Financial Officer, Vernon Douglas said the war in Ukraine means fuel is much more expensive and there is less of it. He adds that the prices of both oil and natural gas have increased since last year and will continue to increase.
According to Mr Vernon, a higher fuel cost means higher electricity costs. He added that the company has to pay more to the fuel suppliers.
Mr. Douglas noted that fuel accounts for approximately half of customers’ electricity bills, so the changes from one month to the next can be quite significant.
He said although JPS is relieved that the Government aims to cushion the impact of increasing energy costs on the vulnerable, he hopes that the Government will also suspend the fuel and electricity sales tax to further ease the burden on consumers during this difficult time.
Meantime, in anticipation of a possible fuel shortage in the country, Mr. Douglas said JPS has started discussions with its fuel suppliers Petrojam and New Fortress Energy to assess their ability to meet the country’s fuel needs.