The National Water Commission (NWC) is now enforcing a massive and widespread disconnection drive to collect outstanding payments from customers who have arrears with the utility company.
Earlier this year, the NWC had made offers to delinquent customers to settle their arrears under the COVID Assistance Programme (CAP). Under this arrangement, residential customers were offered a 30 per cent discount to settle their debt. The CAP for residential customers was extended after it was running for three months. Additionally, commercial customers were also offered a 25 per cent discount to settle outstanding payments.
“As a responsible utility that is sensitive to the needs of our valued customers, the NWC had also taken the decision not to disconnect water supply during the initial period of the outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic,” the utility company said in a release today.
“However, prudent business practices now dictate that the NWC ensures that delinquent customers who refuse to settle their debt come forward and honour their obligations.”
The company said it has noted that, based on its records, some customers are abusive of their arrangements, in that they rack up huge bills, use excessive water, and refuse to engage the NWC’s commercial department to work out a payment plan.
“Such situations must now be urgently addressed if the entity is to remain viable and provide a product and services that are crucial to the livelihood of the Jamaican people,” the NWC said.
In the meantime, the NWC also warned customers that non-payment of their bills could affect their credit ratings since, as of December 1, 2020, the company is empowered by law to provide credit information on its customers if such information is requested by business entities.