After a friend received the below water bill which was almost double than the previous month I took it upon my self to ask the NWC one question. What is the X & K factor on our water bills? Their answer is below the bill but what you need to keep in mind is that they specifically point to the OUR as the entity giving them permission to charge us all these extra fees. It begs the question once again does the OUR have Jamaicans best interest at heart? We have seen with JPS that the answer to that question is NO. When I attended the OUR meetings on net billing the OUR staunchly defended JPS. That’s understandable since many former JPS execs seem to have nice cushy jobs over at the OUR these days. I wonder how many OUR execs use to work for the NWC?  The bill below almost doubled from July to August with no apparent reason or change in usage by the owner of property. Sound familiar?

Dear Mr. Robinson:

Please see below our answers to the questions you raised.


The K-Factor is an approved mechanism for the NWC to acquire a pre-determined amount of funding to do an approved set of capital projects in order to improve service to customers. These improvement works NWC would not be able to undertake otherwise. It appears on customers’ bills as percentage charge and the actual percentage will vary from year to year, as previously determined in the tariff structure granted by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).  Funds collected from the K-factor are used specifically for capital rehabilitation programmes to meet regulatory requirements and to effect mains replacement and other Non-Revenue Water (NRW) reduction activities under the monitoring of the OUR.


The K-Factor is neither new nor unique to Jamaica as it is used in many countries and in many different utility services, under a variety of names. The K-Factor has been used in Jamaica previously to fund a meter and pump replacement programme starting in 1999. The K-Factor for 2010-2011 is 23%, before which the 2010-2011 X-Factor of 10% is deducted.


On the other hand, the X-Factor is essentially an efficiency-gains calculation that is passed on to the customer by being deducted from the customers’ bills. These efficiency gains are the expected result of the investments in projects done using the K-Factor funds in previous periods. The X-Factor represents a credit on customers’ bills reducing the billed amount monthly. The X-Factor for 2010-2011 is 10% and was first applied in 2009-2010.


Yours truly,

Charles Buchanan

Corporate Public Relations Manager

National Water Commission

28-48 Barbados Avenue

Kingston 5

Tel: 929-1128/ 929-6286/ 999-3767

Fax: 926-1329