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CAMountainGal
(@CAMountainGal)
Advanced Member

People in PR are having fits over the electric rate.

An article in the San Juan Star Newspaper on March 1st headline reads: " EPA sets new energy-efficiency guidelines for Puerto Rico homes."
The last line of the article reads: "Puerto Rico has some of the highest electricity rates in the country at 29 cents per kilowatt hour by some estimates." WHAT??????? Highest?

After relocating to PR in Sept, my electric bill is 1/3 of what it was in the VI and the crazy thing is that PR uses the same methods to get electricity as does the VI.

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Topic starter Posted : March 5, 2013 12:38 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

And here we continue to pay double that rate @ $0.58 cents per KWH for residential power and $0.54 for commercia rates while being held hostage to an antiquated system whose issues and leadership should have been dealt with decades ago. Spending a couple billion to connect with PR underwater over some of the deepest trenches in the world, isn't the answer either. For that amount we could have a state of the art power supply company right here in the VI.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 1:03 pm
Matt T
(@Matt_T)
Advanced Member

There is no trench between STT and PR

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Posted : March 5, 2013 1:31 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

PR had 6 million people to share the cost.
USVI pop isn't even a big suburb in the PR.

Question: Why doesn't the USVI grid qualify for Fed Tax subsidies under the rural electrification program??

The USVI telephone and cell infrastructure is subsidized by phone taxes.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 1:35 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

You are right, not directly.
Here is an interesting look:

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03trench/welcome.html
http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/media/puerto-rico-trench/?ar_a=1

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Posted : March 5, 2013 2:59 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

PR had 6 million people to share the cost.
USVI pop isn't even a big suburb in the PR.

True. But the "economy of scale" argument completely breaks down when the price one pays the utility company for electricity is higher than the cost of generating it oneself, as larger businesses have been doing on STX for many years, decades in some cases.

I'm happy to see the residential rate for electricity is now higher than the commercial rate, giving residents even more incentive to get off the wapa hamster-wheel.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 4:32 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I'm not sure generating it IS cheaper. At the Buccameer we made our own electricity. It was more expensive, but more reliable, which was important when people are paying a lot for a room.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 5:24 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I'm not sure generating it IS cheaper. At the Buccameer we made our own electricity. It was more expensive, but more reliable, which was important when people are paying a lot for a room.

Depends on how you "generate" the power. Diesel, Propane, Gas, Solar, Wind, Geothermal....Or a combination. Just the fact that a business like the Buccaneer felt it necessary to produce their own power says a lot!!! How about the two new wind generators behind the Avis? That's a statement!!

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Posted : March 5, 2013 5:37 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

It does say a lot. But is also says that the average person may have to suck up the outages instead of generating their own.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 5:45 pm
LuckyGirl56
(@LuckyGirl56)
Advanced Member

In my opinion, the more residential customers who are able to "go off the grid" with either, solar, wind, geothermal, propane or whatever, the more "We The People" can say to HELL with the lying, cheating, theifing, WAPA !!! End of rant.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 6:37 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

I'm not sure generating it IS cheaper. At the Buccameer we made our own electricity. It was more expensive, but more reliable, which was important when people are paying a lot for a room.

WAPA's unreliable service detracts from the value of the product. If you need reliable power (as any reputable hotel does, as the refinery did, etc) then you must generate it yourself. The Armstrongs wouldn't have spent the money to go off grid if there was a dollar's doubt about the value they were getting by doing so. And it is very important to note that they made that move when WAPA's rates were a fraction of what they are now. Divi and Carambola have done likewise.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 8:23 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

The concern was certainty of reliability, not price. And even then, we once or twice had problems with the system breaking down. The tropics are tough on machinery.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 8:58 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Yes, but what I am saying is that price is one component of value, and the value was solidly there for TBI decades ago. Enhanced reliability goes into the equation, and so does the the quality of the power. Generating their own power means multiplying the lifespan of every single electronic device they have by a significant factor, something we forget who must contend with the notoriously dirty current WAPA provides.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 9:39 pm
Tiberius
(@Tiberius)
Advanced Member

Every one keep complaining. That should fix it.

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Posted : March 5, 2013 11:33 pm
InnAtPelicanHeights
(@InnAtPelicanHeights)
Advanced Member

Be prepared for the next request for electric rate increase............it will be the base rate.

For those of you who read the AVIS last week on Diageo building their own abilitity to produce electricity, ie propane, and will be off line by end of March. Combo a large custome like WAPAr, businesses closed, and residents using less due to solar and wind systems installed, I predict a .05 increase in base rate by May.

Hope Im wrong.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 1:46 am
Ric
 Ric
(@Ric)
Advanced Member

The last I knew which was two years ago, the Buccaneer was generating and delivering power for $.25 per kwh. We were using diesel engines to generate the power. Our lines were all underground. In the six years I worked there, we never had a power generation outage. We did have one transmission outage when a main transformer blew up.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 2:47 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

The last I knew which was two years ago, the Buccaneer was generating and delivering power for $.25 per kwh. We were using diesel engines to generate the power. Our lines were all underground. In the six years I worked there, we never had a power generation outage. We did have one transmission outage when a main transformer blew up.

So they could run a diesel genny for half the price of WAPA? Hmmmm!!!!!

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Posted : March 6, 2013 11:15 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i am just wondering why the government run wapa would do anything to lower the cost?

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Posted : March 6, 2013 11:21 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Don't like to agree with Ric (lol), but he would know about the Bucc's cost. But Diesel has increasd in cost dramatically, so you'd have to factor that in, plus the ititial cost of the change over.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 1:20 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

With all due respect, no way in hell is the current true cost of diesel generation just 25 cents per kwh. Maybe when diesel was $2.50 a gallon and you don't factor in the investment and maintenance. The hotels need reliability, I get that. They can't afford vacationers without a/c.

94% of Alaskan villages run on diesel generators. The state subsidizes the cost of diesel delivery and pays the first 500 kwh of monthly consumption through a levelized adjustment scheme/subsidy called PEC. . Yet still the villagers pay about 30 cents per.

http://www.avec.org/
http://blog.gvea.com/wordpress/?p=528

Consequently, Alaska utilities are hot on the trail of alternative energy. ALASKA!!! The oil state!!

Note that the Alaska kwh cost is about what the PR is paying. And the VI wants to plug into that??? Stupid and shortsighted. They be better to do what many small AK utilities are doing: diesel-backed-up wind turbines.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 1:55 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Be prepared for the next request for electric rate increase............it will be the base rate.

For those of you who read the AVIS last week on Diageo building their own abilitity to produce electricity, ie propane, and will be off line by end of March. Combo a large custome like WAPAr, businesses closed, and residents using less due to solar and wind systems installed, I predict a .05 increase in base rate by May.

Hope Im wrong.

The predicted price for Diaego is $.09 per K.
They are using the latest tech.
The people who are doing the install have tried to talk to WAPA about it but WAPA wants nothing to do with it.
IMHO, if WAPA went with a new lower system, it would cost those stealing millions from us too much money. After all if you skim just 10% off of $.58 per K, it isn't noticed bit 10% off of $.09 is going to set off alarms.

Another thing we are taking into consideration, even what Ric says, and I believe him, that the Buc made power for $.25 per K. and if WAPA did the same, they would at least double the rate to it's customers to pay for overhead.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 2:18 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Neil, please reread:

The last I knew which was two years ago, the Buccaneer was generating and delivering power for $.25 per kwh.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 2:34 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

The idea of running a giant extension cord to PR is a joke right? Nobody seriously is considering it, are they?

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Posted : March 6, 2013 3:20 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

The idea of running a giant extension cord to PR is a joke right? Nobody seriously is considering it, are they?

Come on, Jamison! You know if it is mind-bogglingly expensive and totally unrealistic, the VI leaders will be enchanted to do it!
Just think of the costs and issues involved in connecting STT, WI, STX and STJ to PR and we become completely dependent on PR,
who can have just as many outages and breakdowns to their systems especially during and after Hurricanes.

We could have a state of the art energy producing company for the cost of laying cables, not to mention all the other issues involved.

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Posted : March 6, 2013 4:55 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

The idea of running a giant extension cord to PR is a joke right? Nobody seriously is considering it, are they?

Come on, Jamison! You know if it is mind-bogglingly expensive and totally unrealistic, the VI leaders will be enchanted to do it!
Just think of the costs and issues involved in connecting STT, WI, STX and STJ to PR and we become completely dependent on PR,
who can have just as many outages and breakdowns to their systems especially during and after Hurricanes.

We could have a state of the art energy producing company for the cost of laying cables, not to mention all the other issues involved.

We can't even get good tomatoes from PR, I really don't trust them with my power. lol

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Posted : March 6, 2013 4:57 pm
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