JPS signs MOU in MoBay for first Smart House

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has moved a step closer to fulfilling its promise of introducing smart homes by the end of the year to its customers, starting with the second city, Montego Bay.

This was made possible with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with West Indies Home Contractors Limited (WIHCON) for the development of smart homes in Meadows of Irwin, St James.

The MOU was signed on Wednesday at the Club House located in the Meadows of Irwin housing scheme, which is currently under development.

JPS had first made known its plans to introduce a pilot project in St James on July 7.

A ‘smart home’ is a term commonly used to define a residence where its contents, such as electronic appliances or electric equipment are controlled remotely via the computer, tablet or phone from any location in the world using the internet. This means that the homeowner can be anywhere in the world and give the impression that someone is at home by remotely turning on and off lights, radios, televisions, and air-conditioning units. The property owner also has the advantage of monitoring and controlling security devices such as cameras. The house is also equipped with a smart meter that allows customers to monitor their energy usage from anywhere.

President and Chief executive officer of JPS, Kelly Tomblin said her company has chosen the right partner in making the first home ready within the next five months.

“I want everybody who’s listening to know, that its just us getting started, and by December that home will be fully functional and we will be able to show the world what is possible,” disclosed an optimistic JPS boss.

General Manager of Development Division for WIHCON, the first private home developer in Jamaica, Aisha Campbell said this is the second in a first partnership with JPS. The first project was the construction of energy-saving solar-powered homes located in Bermonde, Portmore, in St Catherine.

She said the Meadows of Irwin project will give homebuyers an option.

A model house that is to be retrofitted with the smart technology, is expected to cost approximately $18.85 million. The cost of this particular house is $12.5 million and approximately US$50,000 or J$6.35 million for a typical smart system. However, homebuyers will be able to customise their choice based on needs.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris said the move with JPS fits well with plans by the St James Parish Council to develop Montego into a smart city.

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