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Electrical Meter Failure

 
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

Anyone else experiencing this? My WAPA electric bill tripled three months ago for no apparent reason. Contacted WAPA to get the meter read. Following month, same crazy bill, drove to sunny isle and spoke with a CSR. The meter was checked. The meter works, but it’s not transmitting any information to WAPA, so they automatically put me on estimated billing. Asked if the guy who read the meter passed along a work order to get the meter problem fixed, that question spun heads. They would work on it. Next bill less, but still twice what it should be. No credit added for reimbursement of the incorrect fees I paid to keep my power on. Called yesterday, was told to call a supervisor who’d look into it. Left two messages, no response.

Then I found this article:

WAPA said it is returning to a contractor and the principal engineer who originally designed and implemented the automated metering system which was decimated in the 2017 hurricanes.

The board authorized entering into contract with Black & Veatch International Company for the first stage of system restoration at a cost of $371,140. The work by Black & Veatch will be completed in 16-18 weeks, and all field work will be finalized by the end of 2020. Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer told board members that since the hurricanes WAPA has been working on system restoration with internal resources.

“The Authority is now seeking outside assistance to complete the restoration. Complete rehabilitation of the system will improve meter communications, synchronize data management systems, and improve meter data management functionality," Mr. Kupfer said.

 

Does this mean I’ll be on Estimated billing until... possibly the end of 2020???

Quote
Topic starter Posted : May 12, 2020 10:00 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

I don't think your electric meter has failed - the automatic reading system has failed.

B&V will get its part done in a timely way no doubt. But as I read it, WAPA will then have to check individual meters to see if they are communicating with the system.

But maybe some meters will come online once B&V gets the system up and running again??  

All pretty vague. 

http://www.viwapa.vi/news-information/press-releases/press-release-details/2020/05/08/governing-board-approval-paves-way-for-completion-of-ami-restoration-fully-functional-automated-system-will-allow-wapa-to-ensure-accurate-and-timely-billing

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Posted : May 13, 2020 11:10 am
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

I’m just hoping my meter is storing an accurate record of my usage for the last several months. I should get an accurate reimbursement for my overpayments if that’s the case. Otherwise, I fear I may get ”WAPAerd”

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Topic starter Posted : May 13, 2020 12:54 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Digital electric meters don't reset - but you may want to keep track by noting the reading for each month the bill is estimated.

Chances are you will get a credit for your overpayments on future bills. You know - like that $250 coronavirus credit you'll be getting on your May WAPA bill. 

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Posted : May 13, 2020 2:48 pm
Alana33 liked
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

With hurricane season soon approaching, the number of outages WAPA experiences, thus us, I feel the money would be better spent and jobs for locals to go back to having real people read real meters. 

We've ALL had issues with overbilling and "estimated" bills!

We're not getting that money back.

A house can sit empty with the breakers turned off and you still get bills equivalent to full occupancy, plus!

You can't even get customer service on the phone 85% of the time.

IMO, the amount of money that WAPA has bilked, wasted, mismanaged, lost, stolen over the decades could've built a better plant and services.

There was the opportunity to sell WAPA to Southern Energy. VI Senators blew that off!

 "WE DON NEED OUTSIDERS TELLING WE HOW TO RUN TING DEM!"

Just out of curiosity, if there's no power there should be no reading?

If there are power surges, as we all know there are, does that speed up and effect the digital meters?

 

 

 

This post was modified 10 months ago 2 times by Alana33
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Posted : May 13, 2020 3:35 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I just finished putting in a solar system, like a week ago, it will be interesting to see if my bill goes down given the estimated billing.  Now there's a scary thought 😕

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Posted : May 13, 2020 4:03 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @Alana33

With hurricane season soon approaching, the number of outages WAPA experiences, thus us, I feel the money would be better spent and jobs for locals to go back to having real people read real meters. 

We've ALL had issues with overbilling and "estimated" bills!

We're not getting that money back.

A house can sit empty with the breakers turned off and you still get bills equivalent to full occupancy, plus!

You can't even get customer service on the phone 85% of the time.

IMO, the amount of money that WAPA has bilked, wasted, mismanaged, lost, stolen over the decades could've built a better plant and services.

There was the opportunity to sell WAPA to Southern Energy. VI Senators blew that off!

 "WE DON NEED OUTSIDERS TELLING WE HOW TO RUN TING DEM!"

Just out of curiosity, if there's no power there should be no reading?

If there are power surges, as we all know there are, does that speed up and effect the digital meters?

 

 

 

As long as you have a working WAPA meter attached to your house, you'll continue to accumulate some fees and charges. You still have power - you've just turned off the breakers. 

I don't think voltage surges would affect your electronic meter.

If you're concerned, start reading your meter periodically. Take monthly pics of your meter reading and then compare them. I know you're not on STT all the time but maybe a tenant could do that and send the pics to you.

 

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Posted : May 14, 2020 11:02 am
Alana33 liked
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

I just finished putting in a solar system, like a week ago, it will be interesting to see if my bill goes down given the estimated billing.  Now there's a scary thought 😕

Houses with net metering have different meters since we're selling energy to the grid.

We've not experienced meter issues or estimated billing with ours - and we've been solar since 2013.

WAPA settles up with us once a year - taking all the extra power credits we haven't used and setting our credits to zero again. We've never owed WAPA any money - but we have first generation net metering.

 

This post was modified 10 months ago by Gator's Mom
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Posted : May 14, 2020 11:08 am
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

Within the year, construction will be done on my home. Once I’ve got my CO, I’m cutting off WAPA completely and going off-grid. WAPA has never reduced prices and never will. Service still drops out, power surges are still happening. I see no benefit to remaining connected.

With solar, it’s like paying 5 years of WAPA bills all at once. In ten years I’ll upgrade my solar system and still be well ahead.

 

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Topic starter Posted : May 15, 2020 4:08 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

@gators_mom: I asked my installer, Mike Bruno, and he explained the following. “When the net metering gets its final approval, then WAPA puts in a bidirectional meter. Until then, we have the system set for self consumption”.

It looks like I’m in some middle ground for the moment.  I don’t believe I’ve used any power from WAPA since the system was commissioned just over a week ago.  They installed 32 panels (9.92kW) along with an 8 kW hybrid inverter and 18.5kW of battery storage.  The battery sits at 100% for several hours everyday so I should be sending a fair amount of power to the grid once the net metering is approved.

I’m very pleased with the decision to put the system in as well as the installation.

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Posted : May 15, 2020 9:53 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

@gators_mom: I asked my installer, Mike Bruno, and he explained the following. “When the net metering gets its final approval, then WAPA puts in a bidirectional meter. Until then, we have the system set for self consumption”.

It looks like I’m in some middle ground for the moment.  I don’t believe I’ve used any power from WAPA since the system was commissioned just over a week ago.  They installed 32 panels (9.92kW) along with an 8 kW hybrid inverter and 18.5kW of battery storage.  The battery sits at 100% for several hours everyday so I should be sending a fair amount of power to the grid once the net metering is approved.

I’m very pleased with the decision to put the system in as well as the installation.

Takes WAPA 2-3 months to show up. In the meantime they pocket your excess energy production. 

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Posted : May 17, 2020 7:09 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Having Mike Bruno install my solar panels and system was probably the best investment I've ever made.

We're on the old 1:1 net metering program which is probably the most generous in all the US.

We've installed A/C in the house to burn off some of the excess we produce every month.

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Posted : May 18, 2020 8:18 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I have only positive things to say about our experience with Mike Bruno.  The system he recommended seems well matched to our needs and is balanced.  We are currently generating about 35kW a day and consuming about 30kW to 33kW.  The SOC on the battery typically hits a low of roughly 18% during the night but is back at 100% by about 11:00am.  We're now running the A/C all the time (set at 82 degrees) to keep the humidity down, we don't do this when the humidity is lower.

The bottomline is the system design fits the house well and the installation was right on time and exactly on budget.  Plus, Mike was always easy to communicate with, very responsive.

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Posted : May 18, 2020 12:50 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

I got a $8,529.13 WAPA bill for 1 months service...last week for 4/30 to 6/02 service period.

Isn't that special!

it'll take them months to rectify.

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Posted : July 13, 2020 7:48 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Is that including the $250 credit? 🤩 

Is the meter reading on your bill reasonable, close to what your meter shows?  If not, send WAPA a picture of your meter reading.

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Posted : July 13, 2020 10:46 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

@Alana33

 

daaaaammn!!!! that sucks!!!!! Is the house occupied by tenants? Is someone stealing power from you?

Any way to find out? 

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Posted : July 14, 2020 9:58 am
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

Called WAPA. Actually got thru 1st time and spoke with Customer Service to report problem bill. Apparently it's a drawn out process to correct. They'll eventually send a tech, who'll make a report which gets passed on thru a few other depts. before the bill gets corrected.

This can take up to 3 months!

Meanwhile, I continue to pay what my bill normally would be until eventual resolution.

I have picture of meter reading. 

The $250 credit was on prior billing.

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Posted : July 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert

Ms. Cerey from WAPA called me yesterday with update.
They had tech check meter and found the bill reading incorrect. It has to now wend it's way thru various depts. She said she'd be in touch as things move forward. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the call!

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Posted : July 15, 2020 11:33 am
daveb722 liked
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Geez, bureaucracy just to fix a bad meter reading.  Should be simple standard procedure.  No wonder our rates are so high.

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Posted : July 15, 2020 11:40 pm
Alana33 liked
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @Alana33

I got a $8,529.13 WAPA bill for 1 months service...last week for 4/30 to 6/02 service period.

Isn't that special!

it'll take them months to rectify.

That’s about $100K per year. You must be growing some indoor herb? 🤣

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Posted : July 16, 2020 8:50 am
daveb722 and Alana33 liked
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