JPS introduces new penalties for late-paying commercial clients
Starting October 1, overdue balances on the accounts of commercial customers will attract late payment interest from electricity provider Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, JPS.
Head of communication Winsome Callum directed the Financial Gleaner to a company advisory which said that the implemented charge was a "requirement included in the amendments to the Electricity Licence, which took effect in 2016".
As prescribed by the Electricity Licence, the interest to be charged on non-GOJ commercial accounts will be based on the commercial bank overdraft rate, the company said, while noting it would average 1.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent and revised on a quarterly basis "consistent with movements in the overdraft benchmark".
"The late payment interest charges will be calculated once monthly on balances that remain unpaid seven days after the due date. This means the interest is calculated at the end of Day 7, following the due date," JPS said.
Interest is applied to both fuel and non-fuel portions of the bill, excluding GCT and deposit balance.
This new interest policy will not affect accounts that are fully paid on or before the due date. The company said the measure is intended to encourage on-time payment.
Accounts will become liable for disconnection 30 days after the billing date.
JPS said its licence "explicitly states that interest should be charged with commercial customers".
Customers who make payments on multiple accounts with different due dates are advised by JPS to make wire transfers to facilitate payments on the accounts; and to supply the power utility immediately with details relating to date of lodgement, amount lodged, bank, and allocation per account.
The same interest rate will be applied to all non-government business accounts, and where the penalty is applied it will be indicated as a line item on the bill.
The company noted that even where payments arrangements are made, interest will continue to be applied as long as the business is in arrears.
"A payment arrangement simply facilitates a payment plan for overdue amounts, which continue to attract interest once they remain unpaid," the power utility said.