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ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

It is easier for us to change our behavior than for the VI govt to change. I'm trying to figure out how I can lower my consumption by 20%. Guess I'll look for a solar radio.8-)

I'm trying to focus on quick-cooking foods. Couscous takes less energy to cook than rice. Thinly cut fish/meats cook quicker than thicker. Trying to increase my consumption of bread/cold sandwiches. Looking for bean salads that are good at room temperature. Need to start making hummus again.

Any ideas?

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Posted : September 26, 2012 8:05 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Even if you lower your consumption, it is doubtful it shall make any big difference in your WAPA bill. I have a propane stove, I have the right light bulbs, I unplug everything not being used including the toaster, microwave, the electronic balast on the propane stove, TV's, computer, etc., and/or have it on a electric strip that can be turned off or unplugged, I do not leave fans or lights on in rooms not being used, I rarely, if ever, turn on outside lights, I have a timer on the waterheater, line dry as much as possible, when possible, use the A/C only in the summer and then sparingly.The minute it starts coolong down in Oct/Nov., the A/C goes off and stays off until the following May and it starts to get unbearable. It is still a rediculous amount of money to pay WAPA every month while you do your best to conserve what you use.

Candle light dining coming soon courtesy of WAPA and all of our short-sighted politicians.!

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Posted : September 26, 2012 8:29 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Frig
A/C
Dryer
Water Heater

Those are the biggest energy consumers.

Sleep in your fridge so that your cold shower feels warm?

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Posted : September 26, 2012 8:38 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

My plan is to build out a solar electric system in small steps to minimize the cost as much as possible. Solar panels and batteries, the two largest expenses, can be bought incrementally once you've designed your system.

I bought one of those kill-a-watt meters to plug into my various appliances to determine their actual usage, which has helped immensely. The first thing I noticed with the Kill-a-watt is that my household service is 121v, which is higher than it should be. Wapa insists on running voltage too high, and getting them to dial down your transformer is nearly impossible. My fridge, incidentally, only uses .08 kwH on average, which is far less than it's plate says. This translates to about 60kwH/month, which makes me wonder where the other 300 or so kwH goes.

So, I'm going to start off by building a solar system to run my fridge and a few lights and build it out from there. If nothing else, my food will stay cold and my fridge won't suffer from the over-voltage and surges it now endures.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 8:42 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Sunnycaribe, thanks for the GREAT info! That's a very smart plan/idea.

Alana, IMO, every little bit helps in the long run. Just think how much higher your bill would be if you weren't doing those things.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day. She wasn't turning off her computer, but instead letting it go into sleep mode. After I lost a computer to power outtages, I now turn mine off and unplug it, and suggested she do the same. Saves on WAPA, and could save her computer. Sleep mode is good if you're in the States, but I don't think it's a good idea here.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 8:54 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Current cost usage measuring devices. These are great! They tell you what you are consuming at all times, trends etc.... Have your wife look at it while you start the dryer:-o It's an eye opener!!! Great for sizing a solar system.
http://www.currentcost.com/products.html

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Topic starter Posted : September 26, 2012 8:59 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

We bought a propane dryer, which has its own tank and uses about 100# of propane in 11-12 months.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 9:03 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I never heard of a PROPANE dryer! Where did that come from?

I've often thought of starting a column in the Daily News with energy saving tips, because when I lived in California, the paper used to publish them regularly. Unfortunately the papers here now only focus on selling ads, so there's very little current, non-ad generating content.

Most people get their info from the radio, and I don't remember hearing energy-saving tips on any radio program, either.

Where's my grant to disseminate ideas???!!! Or maybe somebody in this forum could find and apply for a grant. The territory desperately needs energy-saving education.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 9:45 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I never heard of a PROPANE dryer!

Propane dryers are very common, maybe even generally used here more than electric dryers. I've been using them for many years. Much less expensive to run than electric dryers.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 10:12 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Most people get their info from the radio, and I don't remember hearing energy-saving tips on any radio program, either.The territory desperately needs energy-saving education.

The local newspapers frequently run energy-saving tips as do WAPA and the VI Energy Office. You can find thousands of sites on the internet devoted to energy-saving.

I reduced the electric bill at my business over 40% by gradually replacing dated appliances with energy-saving ones; changed out all the interior bulbs for energy-efficient; outside lights likewise; low-flush toilets to replace the old water-guzzlers; turning down the temperature on the water heater, etc.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 10:18 pm
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

The Virgin Islands Energy Office does offer some energy saving education and a Weatherization Assistance Program for residents and businesses. Plus it has information about Solar Power.

http://www.vienergy.org

Stt - 714-VIEO (8436)
Stx - 713-VIEO

Check out their website or call them for more information.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 10:25 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Thanks, everyone. Yes, I have seen energy conservation ads on various mediums, but I think there needs to be a more grassroots education campaign.

Radio is HUGE here, and I don't know that anybody is doing PSA's on all the radio stations. Some advertisers will advertise on one station but not the others so they're missing some markets.

For example, nobody I knew was familiar with the O2 Cool Battery Fans until I told them. None of the stores here advertise them though they carry them. I ordered quite a few of them online for my friends, and now the stores here carry them at competitive prices. My friends thank me everytime WAPA goes out, thanks to those fans. Sea Chest on STT lowered their prices on these fans, so now it's more cost effective to buy them locally,

I'd like to buy a solar cooker that I've seen online. The last time I checked, nobody here offered one, yet they're available in "third world" economies. I'd love to see solar cookers recommended and sold in lieu of crockpots. I have a limited, emergency solar cooker for individual servings, and fortunately haven't had a need to try it. BUT, the science behind it should be taught in schools here, because it's really very simple and cheap and may make someone more fulfilled after storm. Students may even be able to earn a few dollars for setting them up for people.

We need to change the mindset, and I believe in starting with small steps that everybody can take. One of my mottos is, "If You Can't Commit to Something Big, Commit to Something Small." The key is to commit for positive change. Don't complain - CHANGE!

I'll be collecting my royalties.:-)

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Posted : September 26, 2012 11:00 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

we have the exact same microwave in vermont as we use here. and i have to set the time twice as long as i do there. so not getting the same power as the one in the states. does that make sense? guess it means they are shorting us?but charging higher price per kilowat

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Posted : September 26, 2012 11:17 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

we have the exact same microwave in vermont as we use here. and i have to set the time twice as long as i do there. so not getting the same power as the one in the states. does that make sense? guess it means they are shorting us?but charging higher price per kilowat

I'd have a licensed electrician come out as this denotes a problem that may well not be anything to do with WAPA. I once had a problem at my business when this started happening. I called WAPA immediately and they came out to check but it turned out that the problem was in the electrical system after it came off their grid. Turned out that I had to have the (very old) main wiring into the building replaced as it was starting to deteriorate. Had I not had the work done in timely fashion I could have ended up with a major problem which could potentially have blown all my electrical equipment.

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Posted : September 26, 2012 11:25 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Along those lines I tracked down a problem in a seaside home where guests were getting shocked in the shower when they stood on the drain to a very badly corroded ground at the meter base. Always check your meter base and disconnect and keep in good repair.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:47 am
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

if you live in the projects do you have to pay your own WAPA

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:40 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

if you live in the projects do you have to pay your own WAPA

Yes, that's my understanding. If you're going to apply then VIHA would be able to give you the details.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:50 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

not moving to projects :$) yet lol just wanted to know if they get wapa free

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:55 pm
gringojj
(@gringojj)
Advanced Member

When we first moved here my wife and I were surprised that people in the projects had horses. When we brought it up to her uncle, he said that alot of the horses do not belong to people who live in the projects, but their friends and family. According to him people in the projects get free water, so the horses are just there so the owners can quench their enormous need for water on all of our dimes. Its called equine redistribution of wealth.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 1:23 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Did anyone ever research the driving force behind the refinery closing, LEAC increases and the proposed switch to LNG by WAPA?

A lot of this stems from new EPA requirements (under the current administration) that must be adhered to by 2016. These are referred to as Boiler MACT (maximum achievable control technology). Here is a link to the proposed regulations.

http://www.burnsmcd.com/Resource_/PageResource/Boiler-MACT-FAQ/Proposed-Major-Source-Industrial-Boiler-MACT-Rule-FR-Publication-12232011.pdf

Implementation is very expensive and a prime reason that Hovensa closed. 100's if not 1000's power plants / boilers are scheduled to be shut down in the states, since they can never recover the cost of the required upgrades. And also, WAPA is faced with these same reg.s. Here is their solicitation for a "global" solution for LNG supply.

http://www.viwapa.vi/Libraries/PDFs/PR-07-13_Liquefied_Natural_Gas_9_26_12_2.sflb.ashx

This will not be cheap and will take some time. We soon will know the implications. The best we could hope for is 1) the USVI gets an exemption to MACT based on fact that we are isolated and there is an abundance of clear air / winds to dilute air emissions ....Are the air pollutants a problem now from WAPA? .... or 2) we get a change in administration that will put MACT on-hold or will take a more realistic approach to how we handle existing power plant infrastructure.

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Posted : October 10, 2012 3:50 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Here's a great Op-ed letter from the Daily News that a friend wrote:

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/op-ed/wapa-rewards-failure-and-punishes-the-public-1.1385186

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Posted : October 10, 2012 4:01 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Wow, Lucy, I'm going to guess that you work for WAPA, given the ease with which you present lies in support of an indefensible position. Nice side-order of partisan hackery, I might add. Good thing we are not, generally speaking, the idiots you take us for.

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Posted : October 10, 2012 9:51 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Sorry SunnyC, but I hate to disappoint you but I don't work for WAPA .... but rather dispise their arrogance and lack of urgency. I do understand why though .... since a real solution will mean many in management will most likely loose their jobs.

Now what lie are you referring to?

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Posted : October 10, 2012 10:59 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Check out this article:
WAPA Director Airs Report to Debunk ‘False Reporting’

Why would Hugo Hodge ask us to read the report from the US Inspector General that is linked at the end of this article. Sure it doesn't mention "wrongdoing" at Wapa but it does completely slam the utility that he heads up as being "currently unable to simultaneously provide cost efficient and reliable electric service to those citizens" amongst other things. Hodge's job is challenging but to point to this damning report as evidence that Wapa is doing a good job makes me really question his capabilities even more than I already was when I pay my monthly power bill!

Sean

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Posted : October 11, 2012 2:05 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

LEAC is fuel cost (basically) pure and simple. Fuel costs are what they are and now we will be dependent on global market prices. LNG might be a way to reduce fuel costs, but LNG storage facilities will cost money as will a conversion of the existing units or a change to medium speed recip-generators.

The report (2009) is very factual about the current situation. The only thing that changed since is the HRSTG installed on STX. The facts can't be changed about the efficiency of the existing units. Per the report they range from 13% to 23%. This is lousy, but WAPA / Gov.t does not have the money; nor can they get financing, for modernization.

I believe Hodge knows that the best decision for WAPA would be to sell off the generating assets, but that would most likely mean that he loses his job. The WAPA board or the Governor or the US State Dept. needs to take control of decision making.

What Hodge is saying is that if WAPA keeps the existing units as they are, we are stuck with LEAC and that is tied directly to the price of fuel. In that scenario, LEAC will not go away nor it will go down substantially.

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Posted : October 11, 2012 2:30 pm
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