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UTILITIES

LisaAnn1014
July 21, 2017 09:43AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 13

What utilities do you pay on STX? On average, what do they run you? I'd be buying a house most likely , 4/5 bedroom, no more than 2,000 sf.

Re: UTILITIES

vicanuck
July 21, 2017 10:25AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

I'd estimate $300 - $600 a month for WAPA.

Re: UTILITIES

LisaAnn1014
July 21, 2017 10:38AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 13

What is WAPA?

Re: UTILITIES

vicanuck
July 21, 2017 10:43AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Water & Power Authority. You come to hate them very quickly.

Re: UTILITIES

LisaAnn1014
July 21, 2017 10:47AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 13

Is everything electric or is there gas too?

Re: UTILITIES

vicanuck
July 21, 2017 10:55AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
LisaAnn1014
Is everything electric or is there gas too?

Propane only...no natural gas.

Re: UTILITIES

Alana33
July 21, 2017 10:59AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,041

If you're using A/C in all 4-5 bedrooms and living room even with a propane stove, you'll be lucky if you're not looking at much more than $600 per month in electricity. Make sure you have a back up generator that can run your whole house. WAPA is not reliable and expensive.

Re: UTILITIES

AandA2VI
July 21, 2017 11:20AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,285

4-5 bedrooms with people to occupy it and laundry AC and electronics???? Id say $800 a month at least. Friends have a similar in STT - with a pool and it's 1k. They actually have solar for a few things too.

Hope you're rich!

Their house is for sale now.

Re: UTILITIES

tmahan
July 21, 2017 11:37AM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 5

Forgive me for my naivete, but are there solar companies on any of the three islands? In addition, does anyone have an automatic generator and can anyone advise as to the general cost of purchasing one?

Re: UTILITIES

Afriend
July 21, 2017 11:51AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 457

Cost depends on size of generator and how many "bells & whistles" you have. A small unit that you have to manually start yourself and "connect" with enough to power for a few lights and a refrigerator will cost around $3,000. Whole house generators with automatic start and interface can run upwards of $20,000.

Re: UTILITIES

LisaAnn1014
July 21, 2017 12:16PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 13

Between medical and electric, how do people afford to live there? I've estimated our monthly costs at 3,500-4,000 monthly. That's with me buying a house in full with cash. I can't image people can afford that.

Re: UTILITIES

Scubadoo
July 21, 2017 12:24PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,092

That's why most folks don't run the A/C. A small very efficient mini-split in one or two bedrooms might not break the bank.

Re: UTILITIES

vicanuck
July 21, 2017 01:08PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
tmahan
Forgive me for my naivete, but are there solar companies on any of the three islands? In addition, does anyone have an automatic generator and can anyone advise as to the general cost of purchasing one?

The only solar options are a complete off-grid system with battery storage + generator.

There are no more net metering applications being accepted as we have reached the maximum amount of net metering the WAPA system can handle (so they say).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2017 01:09PM by vicanuck.

Re: UTILITIES

speee1dy
July 21, 2017 01:43PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,628

i would go with splits too.

i have a 3 bedroom. ceiling fans, clothes washer, tv, stand fans, NO dryer or air conditioner and ours has been as high as 300+ due to the high cost of wapa

Re: UTILITIES

LisaAnn1014
July 21, 2017 03:20PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 13

I'm clueless, what are splits?

Re: UTILITIES

speee1dy
July 21, 2017 03:28PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,628

Re: UTILITIES

vicanuck
July 21, 2017 04:16PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
LisaAnn1014
I'm clueless, what are splits?

Split AC Units = condenser unit outside and evaporator unit(s) inside

Also know as a mini split unit...very common.

Re: UTILITIES

stxsailor
July 21, 2017 04:47PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 519

Hey Lisa Ann come down for a PMV pre move visit, rent a condo for a couple of weeks and you'll learn a lot also you can chat up the locals. We are a pretty friendly bunch and will give you honest answers. The more booze we have the more honest the answer! happy

Re: UTILITIES

Scubadoo
July 21, 2017 07:08PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,092

Quote
vicanuck
Quote
tmahan
Forgive me for my naivete, but are there solar companies on any of the three islands? In addition, does anyone have an automatic generator and can anyone advise as to the general cost of purchasing one?

The only solar options are a complete off-grid system with battery storage + generator.

There are no more net metering applications being accepted as we have reached the maximum amount of net metering the WAPA system can handle (so they say).

You could be part on-grid. Your solar can't supply back to the grid but you should still be able to switch your loads between solar and grid. Kinda like switching between WAPA and back-up generator. Or have some on solar and some on grid.

Re: UTILITIES

singlefin
July 21, 2017 09:33PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 724

A lot of people are waiting for the new lithium battery technology. If Tesla can pull off an affordable, reliable, high capacity battery for solar power storage, I think a quarter of WAPA's customers would immediately disconnect entirely.

Re: UTILITIES
avatar

Exit Zero
July 21, 2017 11:29PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,254

Quote
singlefin
I think a quarter of WAPA's customers would immediately disconnect entirely.

A quarter of WAPA's customers is a very optimistic guess - it will not be cheap to convert - [even though the payback time is economically worth it] - and to think it would be an immediate conversion that widespread is unrealistic.

Re: UTILITIES

AandA2VI
July 21, 2017 11:34PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
Afriend
Cost depends on size of generator and how many "bells & whistles" you have. A small unit that you have to manually start yourself and "connect" with enough to power for a few lights and a refrigerator will cost around $3,000. Whole house generators with automatic start and interface can run upwards of $20,000.

lol uhhhh I got mine from home depot for $700. Powers everything I need it to for a 3bd room and all my electronics, fridge washer etc. We don't have AC though.

Re: UTILITIES
avatar

Exit Zero
July 21, 2017 11:43PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,254

Brand new $800 10kw gas , hand start, generator runs everything in my 3 Bdrm house and 1 bdrm apt.- no AC , 2 water heaters, one water pump, 2 refrigerators, 1 deep freeze, no pool, no LED lights, 3 TV's, electronics ---------------- 7 hr. run time, 3/4 GPH usage average.
Depends on what you want to set up - auto start is nice but increases the price -- maintenance is vital - learning to service the gen yourself is worthwhile.

Re: UTILITIES

rosesisland
July 22, 2017 05:21AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 708

The very best advice to new comers to the island, no matter how wonderful buying looks like on HGTV, is DO NOT BUY FOR AT LEAST ONE OR BETTER, TWO YEARS.

This is the big island of the 3. We have Far East, middle, West, and Northside. Each one is totally different from the other. Do a search on buying a house, condo, etc, here in the search engine above and I'll adventure to say there are hundreds of posts giving out this advice for very, very good reasons.

I first moved here in '95 and since I've never lived on the Northside, I still haven't decided where I'd like to buy. Sold two homes in the states in 12 and 13, so I am in a position to buy, but, why? There are probably more full time statesiders here renting than not. Rentals are plentiful. Do not bring a shipping container full of household stuff as most rentals are furnished in the areas you'd want to live.

Over the past twenty-two years, I've seen more people come with good intentions to stay forever LEAVE than stay. Would you be ok leaving and not be able to sell the house you bought here? The maybe you'd have to rent in the states. Houses here rarely sell within weeks as mine did in the states. I've lived in three houses for sale here that had been on the market more than 5 years.

Come for a PMV, because your questions shows you don't know much about what living here is all about. Do more homework before jumping, unless, of course, you just won the Powerball! Read this forum!

Many come with no debt and within just a short time begin to acquire debt! Easy to do here!

Re: UTILITIES

Alana33
July 22, 2017 12:28PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,041

Personally, I'd rather buy than rent.
I moved to FL at the end of January. I've kept my STT home until I decide if this move is permanent.
I considered renting for at least a year or 2 but I was planning on moving with 3 dogs, wanted a large fenced yard and tiled or hardwood flooring as carpeting with the dogs wasn't going to work for me.

After doing my homework I realized it I would spend considerable money and have nothing to show for it after 2 years of renting. Plus no dealing with landlords, their rules, other tenants, someone else's furnishings, I can paint, plant, decorate how I like, when I like. If I decide to move back, I can either sell and make my money back at the least or rent, long term, seasonally or short term.

I can't see renting for years and paying someone else's mortgage.
That being said, island life isn't for everyone.
It does generally take longer to sell a property in the VI but it depends on the property, the location, the condition, price, etc. I've seen properties come on market and by day 2, they are contracted. In fact, I've had buyers in such circumstances. It's not the norm but it happens.

It's very dependent on one's specific situation, needs and finances.

I might add that in terms of costs of electricity, my next door neighbour has a lovely 2/2 vacation rental with pool. It's was not unusual for them to pay $1000 a month due to their guests usage prior to rates being reduced from the 54¢ per KWH.

You might be able to figure out what you'd pay depending on your current usage. I think the rate is now about 29¢ a KWH. Someone can chime in on accurate rate.

You'll soon learn to conserve both electricity and water usage living in the VI.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2017 12:42PM by Alana33.

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