Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company is reporting that it has reached 62 per cent of the target set to convert 105,000 street lights across the island to light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.
On Monday, the company said since the start of 2019 some 65,000 street lights have been converted and that it is projecting the installation of 25,000 more in 2020. The programme is slated for completion in 2021.
“The upgraded LED street lights are more energy efficient and provide better lighting than the traditional lights, which are being replaced. The smart controllers also enable remote control and monitoring, so that repairs are more efficiently managed,” the light and power company said.
The programme, which started in 2017, is being carried out under an arrangement between the Government and JPS, as part of efforts to reduce monthly bills, which averaged $280 million or $2.6 billion annually for each municipal corporation.
In June 2017, JPS began converting the 105,000 energy-intensive street lamps across the island to LED and smart control lights.
At the time, the Government was negotiating with the light and power company to pay up $5 billion owed for street lights, some of which the municipal corporations argued had not been functional over the years. Arrears on the debt dated back to 2012.
Media and public relations manager at JPS, Audrey Williams, said on Monday that the Government has now made good on its debt and is current with its payments, which are significantly less than in previous years.
JPS president and Chief Executive Officer Emanuel DaRosa emphasised that the smart LED street light project has been one of the most visible undertakings by the company in 2019.
“The positive impact on public lighting and night life has been communicated to us by members of the public, as well as their anticipation, as they look forward to street light conversions in their own communities. We are very pleased to be a part of something that is so meaningful to those we serve,” he said
LEDs and the smart control system are expected to bring the street light bill down by 50 to 60 per cent. The smart controller system will meter each lamp, monitor their status and consumption so that the parish councils are only billed for what is used.
“Once complete, the smart LED street light project will position Jamaica among a growing number of countries internationally, which are installing LED lights, not only citywide, but also across their countries,” JPS said.