Another LEAC Increase Coming  

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DaChief
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November 16, 2012 1:45 pm  

What was that "they" said a couple of weeks back about no increase in the LEAC planned? Now look- and also pay close attention to Hodge's and Barnes' comments regarding enterprising businesses who propose to go off the grid- they are even trying to stop that..

http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/11/15/wapa-board-approves-leac-raise-next-quarter

Hodge & Groner's X-Mas present to all of us...


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speee1dy
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November 16, 2012 2:37 pm  

i missed that part, i wil have to re read that again.


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stxfoodie
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November 16, 2012 2:59 pm  

"He warned that the current base rate of consumers would have to change as more large users come off the grid"

basically the more people come off the grid, the less customers you have to spread the infrastructure cost over. As more people go solar and use net metering there are less and less customers to spreadh the cost of the infrastructure over. Instead of a higher base rate, pershaps there should be a charge for being connected to the grid for net metering purposes to help spread the infrastructure cost in a fair and balanced manner....


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Neil
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November 16, 2012 5:51 pm  

@stxfoodie...
There's a big difference between someone "going off the grid" and someone who is "net metering".

People who install solar and wind and who also net meter are FEEDING the grid free power, and they also pay a fee to stay connected to it, and get power when the sun isn't shining and wind ain't blowing.

Those who "go off the grid" have their own fuel source, such as a diesel generator. In their defense, they are also not using the grid either, though when they pay taxes, and buy products, or go to restaurants, for example, they are indirectly paying for the grid use of the businesses they visit and govt services they get.


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OldTart
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November 16, 2012 7:18 pm  

What was that "they" said a couple of weeks back about no increase in the LEAC planned? Now look- and also pay close attention to Hodge's and Barnes' comments regarding enterprising businesses who propose to go off the grid- they are even trying to stop that..

http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/11/15/wapa-board-approves-leac-raise-next-quarter

Hodge & Groner's X-Mas present to all of us...

Maybe you should re-read Hodge's quote to which I think you're referring, viz:

"“Where are the environmentalists when it comes time to speak out about the various large power users who have recently opted to go off-line, but are still utilizing fossil fuels to generate power at their facilities?”

When I read the article first thing this morning I didn't equate households who go off the grid using solar and windpower as "large power users" and neither do I think Hodge was referring to them.

I have no idea why anyone who's been following our power problems even from a most recent standpoint since Hovensa closed could be surprised at another LEAC increase. And why do so many posters assume that this problem is only restricted to the USVI? There's no question that we pay the highest Kw rate under the US flag but that's been so for donkey's years and isn't anything new. It doesn't excuse the fact that something might have been started up a couple of decades ago to get us off dependency on oil but putting it into perspective is a start. Stateside rates continue to rise as do ours - and if you really want to to think about shell-shock, look at European prices.


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Isle Tell Ya
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November 16, 2012 8:11 pm  

The way things are headed, every single business that can go solar will, and when the LEAC crosses the "red line", individual homeowner's will go solar/generator as well. Without change, I can easily envision 50-60% of individuals and 80-90% of businesses leaving WAPA in the next 10 years. I can envision commercial landlords offering solar to tenants. Generator companies should be shipping down thousands of generators of all sizes and selling them at discounts to optimize volume sales. Unfortunately, that's what it has come to. If WAPA has determined that it is in its necessary interests to "punish" citizens and businesses who can't afford to go solar by raising the LEAC and the base rates because those with money that have gone solar no longer pay them, it is a very dangerous path that will lead to endless increases as more and more go off the grid.

To be honest, landlords with commercial structures should already be going solar, as most "tourist" shops are only open during peak sun hours. Restaurants should already be using generators and gas to cook, and property owners should all have some form of generator (whether large or small.) Add up the LEAC over time and generators and solar become a bargain investment.

I can also envision Banks offering specific loan products to homeowners and businesses to "solar/generator up." The Bank's would prefer to take your interest payments than have you give it to WAPA.

BOTTOM LINE: The Government needs to sell WAPA IMMEDIATELY to a stateside entity with some capital to move away from 100% oil. WAPA has failed as a government-run facility.


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rotorhead
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November 16, 2012 8:46 pm  

BOTTOM LINE: The Government needs to sell WAPA IMMEDIATELY to a stateside entity with some capital to move away from 100% oil. WAPA has failed as a government-run facility.

The problem with this is that then the government might be forced to actually pay their utility bills.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
the sinners are much more fun...
You know that only the good die young.
BJ


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DaChief
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November 16, 2012 8:57 pm  

For the sake of clarification- I'll break down my comments to the three relevant areas:

1) LEAC Increase- Hodge and some of the other WAPA Board Members stated a couple of months back (when they petitioned and got a 19% Raise in the LEAC)- Hodge stated "don;t listen to all of the rumours and talk show callers who state that there will be another LEAC increase toward the end of the year"

Well- now at the end of this quarter it is readily apparent that WAPA is looking to recover an additional $50 million in "under recovered" fuel costs- let's explore to basic math- $50,000,000 divided by the some 56000 rate payers divided across one year- that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional $70 a month by average- more for some, less for others.

This could not come at a worse time. This will push more businesses to close, more people will leave our territory.

2) WAPA at Risk of Bond Default- Separate subject- this means that they will be raising the Base Rate again, or at least asking the PSC's permission to raise the Base Rate- remember that WAPA's Bonding will probably be downgraded anyway- so we will get hit by a double whammy- a base rate increase AND a LEAC Increase- more financial trouble for all.

3) Hodge's complaint about large power consumers leaving the grid-

"In Hodge’s monthly report, he asked the board, “Where are the environmentalists when it comes time to speak out about the various large power users who have recently opted to go off-line, but are still utilizing fossil fuels to generate power at their facilities?”

He said it was unfair for the outcry of environmental concern to be directed at only one entity. He warned that the current base rate of consumers would have to change as more large users come off the grid.

Board member and DPNR Commissioner Alicia Barnes suggested that WAPA attend all future Title 5 permit hearings that allow this practice, until such a time as a territorial energy policy be put into place addressing the financial sharing of LEAC costs for all users, not just those currently on the grid."

This is concerning- not only does WAPA evidently want to hold us captive, but also have the notion to make it harder for any large power consumer to leave the grid by bringing the DPNR to help them- this should be immediately curtailed- I believe it's unethical and probably unconstitutuional to try and influence a separate government regulatory entity to keep people from obtaining permitted alternative arrangements to ensure that they don;t go bankrupt....

In short, We all should resist ANY rate increases- LET WAPA DEFAULT and then let Federal Intervention be the order of the day- at least the rate payers will see some relief- over $1 million in legal fees- (that's $20 per rate payer to their bills- averaged) this agency is a runaway train to wcich the emergency breaks should be applied before they sink the whole railway line!


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Linda J
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November 17, 2012 10:59 am  

I would assume Hodge is referring to a business like the Buccaneer, who is "off the grid" but uses deisel to run it's generators. They went off for business reasons and not environmental.


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vicanuck
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November 17, 2012 12:16 pm  

I have a 100 kw deisel generator at my business. In a very short while, I will begin to use it to power my business. I will also sell power to my tenants at a discount to WAPA. I'm starting my Title 5 process shortly.


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Lucy
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November 17, 2012 3:20 pm  

Chief, I've been out sailing for the week and just got around to reading the posts. You are spot on with your comments. I also agree with ITY that selling WAPA to a stateside utility would be a best solution. Unfortunately a high LEAC is here to stay for some time, but we need a plan to stop the bleeding.


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Beeski
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November 17, 2012 6:39 pm  

I have a 100 kw deisel generator at my business. In a very short while, I will begin to use it to power my business. I will also sell power to my tenants at a discount to WAPA. I'm starting my Title 5 process shortly.

You cannot "sell" power to other companies. WAPA has a monopoly:
http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2010/05/14/island-wind-power-wapa-argue-regulation


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rotorhead
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November 17, 2012 7:04 pm  

I have a 100 kw deisel generator at my business. In a very short while, I will begin to use it to power my business. I will also sell power to my tenants at a discount to WAPA. I'm starting my Title 5 process shortly.

You cannot "sell" power to other companies. WAPA has a monopoly:
http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2010/05/14/island-wind-power-wapa-argue-regulation

Government out of control.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
the sinners are much more fun...
You know that only the good die young.
BJ


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DaChief
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November 19, 2012 2:46 pm  

Is someone or somebody attempting to defer paying their taxes for years to come?

http://www.viwapa.vi/AboutUs/BusinessOpportunities/Business_Opportunity_Details/12-10-22/PR-09-13_457B_Deferred_Compensation_Plan.aspx

What is this? Who is benefiting- is someone leaving?


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Alana33
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November 21, 2012 11:29 pm  

WAPA/LEAC will soon drive prices up even more and electricity to the point where it is not affordable to live here much longer.
In 2003 I paid $148.00 for electricity for main home and tenant. My last bill for same - $542.00. and I conserve as much as possible.
It is outrageous, ridiculous and outright thievery.


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Novanut
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November 22, 2012 1:57 am  

Is this anything like the Fox minding the Henhouse? I say we all petition Chucky to throw another fish fry and listen to how she, single handedly, will bring the power giants to their knees and save the island. Brings a lump to my throat just thinking about it. How bout you?


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