The Court of Appeal has overturned the Supreme Court’s ruling and has sided with the residents of Hope Pastures that their homes are to be provided with underground electricity by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS).
The battle which has been in the pipelines for five years was handed down yesterday morning and the residents say they are ecstatic.
The residents have been hell-bent on getting the power company to fulfill what they call its’ statutory obligation to provide and maintain underground electricity to their homes.
According to the residents, they purchased their homes with the added feature of the underground electrical system. However, when the cables stopped working in 2015, the JPS began using the overhead system citing that it could not maintain the underground network to some households.
According to JPS, it was under no legal obligation, whether from statute or contract, to replace the underground system at its expense, arguing that those who wished to have the underground system would need to pay for it.
But for one woman who purchased her home decades ago, she said it was approved by Parliament in 1962.
In 2016, more than 90 residents sued JPS on the premise that it had a statutory obligation to provide electricity via underground means to their homes.
President of the of Hope Pastures Citizens’ Association, Michael Williams says he is among a group of residents who have had their underground cables disconnected and had to use alternative energy source.
When asked whether he would reconnect to the JPS Co system, Williams replied by stating this, “ like now when it’s raining my generator is working twenty-four-seven, so I would use JPS as a back-up but when hurricane come and we lose light island-wide I would still have my generator and I would have my solar,” he says.
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