ROSE HALL, Montego Bay — As part of its ongoing thrust to revolutionise energy savings with the use of technology, the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd (JPS) will be introducing smart homes to its customers and Montego Bay has been chosen to accommodate the pilot project towards the end of this year.
“Our first smart home pilot [will be] in Montego Bay, because we believe it is the area that is showing a lot of interest in technology; a lot of new houses and a lot of building are going on in Montego Bay. We are picking different things for different places and we think that Montego Bay is showing a real interest,” President and Chief Executive Officer of JPS, Kelly Tomblin, disclosed.
“We are right now doing the framework, so we should be ready by the end of the year to have our first smart home.”
She was speaking to members of the media during a cocktail reception put on by the light and power company at the Rose Hall Great House, Thursday evening.
Tomblin explained that smart house owners will be armed with the technology to “communicate with their homes remotely” and to monitor energy usage.
“So what smart home is — the home that has appliances and lighting and mobile apps and a smart meter that allows you to do a number of things — it allows you to be able to monitor energy use. If you leave your home and you drive away, you’ve forgot to turn off your air conditioner; it allows you to see what’s going on in your house. You say ‘oh, I forgot to turn off my air conditioner’; it turns things off and on remotely. So it’s really a home that you communicate with remotely,” the JPS boss stated.
She also spelled out that the smart house “really is a part of the smart grid that we are now implementing”.
Tomblin, who did not provide data for the expected savings to smart home operators, however, revealed that , on an average, prepaid meter users reduce their usage by 30 per cent.
“What’s happening for a lot of people to have a smart meter, they have in their head a bill that they want to pay and they just use that amount,” she said.
Tomblin further disclosed that her company had recorded strong growth in Montego Bay since the start of the year.
“The reason we are here is because there is so much growth — 16 per cent growth this year over last year so things are booming here in Montego Bay,” Tomblin stated.
“A lot of interest in net zero homes, sustainable homes that capture water, have renewables, want to be on the grid, so we are seeing a lot of people who want a blend in energy services. And information tends to be key now, so we are really excited that we are going to bring the first smart home in Jamaica, here in Montego Bay,” Tomblin said.