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January 17, 2013
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JPS removed 98,000 illegal lines in 2012

The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) said it removed 98,000 illegal lines from the company's infrastructure during 2012.

JPS added that for this period, it also targeted four more Corporate Area inner-city communities for the installation of the Residential Advanced Meter Infrastructure (RAMI) programme, in addition to having 62 persons arrested and charged for the illegal abstraction of electricity, or for trespassing on the works of JPS.

Despite the arrests and removals, the company said illegal lines or 'throw-ups' have been, and continues to be a vexing issue. They said many of the wires were replaced once the crews left the communities.

They said the anti-theft efforts continue, in addition to routine loss reduction activities, involving residential and commercial customers. But despite these efforts, JPS said it still ended the year with a 15 per cent loss of electricity generated to theft.

JPS said it was spending on average US$30 million ($2.79 billion) each year to fight losses. This includes the cost of:

Installing the anti-theft infrastructure (RAMI) system.

Conducting account audits.

Carrying out meter investigations.

Removing illegal lines.

Carrying out community intervention and public education programmes.

JPS said while it was taking a comprehensive multifaceted approach in its ongoing effort to deal with the problem of theft, it also recognises it was a part of a wider socio-economic problem outside of the utility's control.

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