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Restrictions on charging tenants for solar power

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Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Alana, when the solar installers get their permits the folks at permits don't tell them to go to the Historic Preservation Commission. Copying the nest rules for an historic town Williamsburg, you can put panels in as long as there are not seen from the street. Here is is a problem because of the hills. They also want to put panels facing south as their is 'more' sun. I think any side will do. So what if you miss a few percentage points, it won't be unsightly like the Federal Building and Tunick Building here in STT.

Going to hate to see what will happen in case of a good sized hurricane!

Ronnie - why is it not mandatory if in Historical district?
No Approval, no permit?
Or at least where not an eyesore?
How come HPC does not get the input prior/during to permitting allowance process?

We both have lived here long enough and thru many hurricanes, some devastating and we know how long it can take to get the infrastructure up and running again. My question because of this is: Okay you spend $20K (min.) on a whole house solar system.
We have another hurricane Marilyn or God forbid, something akin to Haiyan that hit the Philippines? Not unlikely as it may seem.
Your roof and solar system is gone, you are not connected to WAPA (which is also gone), how long is it going to take...........before one can get anyone, legitimate to do anything and have power again?
What is the cost to ones insurance to protect that investment when our rates are already so high for just a residential property?

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Posted : November 22, 2013 6:20 pm
caribstx
(@caribstx)
Trusted Member

If that scenario played out, I'd just run my whole home diesel generator until WAPA came back online and my roof and solar system was restored. You have to have multiple back ups.

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Posted : November 25, 2013 12:07 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Tru dat.

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Posted : November 25, 2013 4:45 pm
cmoschini
(@cmoschini)
New Member

They also want to put panels facing south as their is 'more' sun. I think any side will do. So what if you miss a few percentage points, it won't be unsightly like the Federal Building and Tunick Building here in STT.

This seriously misunderstands how solar works. Think of it like pushing on something very heavy. If you push on it really hard, it moves. Push on it half as hard, it doesn't move at all, a quarter as hard, nothing there too.

Today's solar panels require a lot of sun to produce any electricity. Solar installers point them at a very specific southern angle to ensure around noon they get that level of sun. Pointing them wherever you like will result in 0 energy produced.

Original question - are there laws governing landlords selling tenants power in Virgin Islands:

It appears any selling of electricity is illegal in the Virgin Islands without either a small provider permit or licensure as a public utility, and even then it appears you must still sell all your power to WAPA and have them sell it to your customers.

On top of that, the process seems at best poorly implemented and at worst corrupt. Here's the story of a small company that put up a few wind turbines:

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/tutu-windmill-s-brief-debut-halted-by-wapa-problems-1.785314

From 2008-2011 they were stuck in court proceedings, preventing them from selling any of the power. That forced them to disable the windmills (producing power with nowhere for it to go is a recipe for a fire). They remained disabled so long that times they seemed to be in the legal clear they couldn't get the windmills to work, costing them dearly. And - after several rounds in court, they keep getting dragged back in to go through the same proceedings.

It sure sounds like someone in government is out to screw at least them, if not renewable sources in general. I'd say the landlord in this case is just lucky no one in government has come by to mess their lives up yet.

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Posted : January 5, 2016 8:46 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

The landlord should advertise as electricity included and jack up the rent to cover the cost. Problem solved.

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Posted : January 5, 2016 10:54 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Why did this get dredged back up lol. Wapa is half the cost now of OP.

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Posted : January 5, 2016 11:11 pm
caribstx
(@caribstx)
Trusted Member

It was a great discussion!

Since then, I now have solar panels on my house that generate way more power than I can use so i get a credit from WAPA every month.

I also have a tenant who was there before the solar installation and whose rent includes electricity.

Even though I'm now not paying for electricity, I certainly haven't reduced the tenant's rent.

Why would I and what VI law says I have to?

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Posted : January 6, 2016 11:50 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Your lease defines the terms.

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Posted : January 6, 2016 11:53 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Your lease defines the terms.

I've never seen a lease which specifies any details other than "includes electricity" so the source of the current is irrelevant.

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Posted : January 6, 2016 11:58 am
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