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gringojj
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October 4, 2012 10:31 pm  

Does anyone know what would happen if the balance was severely thrown off? For example if more businesses close and our economy plummets even further will the federal govt step in as a like an emergency relief measure?

The way I see it WAPA does not have any solutions for the current situation that will make any significant change for people right now. Are things balanced with the current increase or are they going to ask for more in 3 months?


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sheiba
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October 4, 2012 11:02 pm  

Alana33, don't think it has to be everyone, just a large portion of people...and I was thinking , not one day but a week to make a significant impact and to send a message. Businesses wouldn't need to participate.


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OldTart
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October 4, 2012 11:26 pm  

The way I see it WAPA does not have any solutions for the current situation that will make any significant change for people right now. Are things balanced with the current increase or are they going to ask for more in 3 months?

WAPA is and has been looking at alternative energy sources and in fact has implemented many already. Too little too late but I'm going to give them credit for trying. The oil crisis isn't something new and isn't something particular to our little blot on the ocean. WAPA has missed the proverbial boat so many times over so many long years with the major detriment being the elected senators who have sway over WAPA because WAPA is a semi-autonomous branch of the government.

After they successfully shot down South East's bid for WAPA, they decided to get into wind power/windmills. They spent a huge amount of money on research of this alternative energy. It was apparent to anyone who could navigate a simple google that the proposed windmill equipment they were looking at was obsolete and even at best wasn't suited to our locale. The proposal fell flat for many reasons but, in my opinion, primarily because legitimate providers with windmills specific to our terrain weren't open to monetary kickbacks.

As long as the voting populace continues to elect nincompoops into office ...


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beachy
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October 5, 2012 12:06 am  

Perhaps I'm missing something but what would you expect to change or accomplish as a result of a boycott etc? Would it make the price of a barrel of oil go down? Get Wapa to run out the next day and buy new generating equipment? Fire half their employees? I just don't see the goal...but would be interested in knowing if there is one.
I'm sure the wapa board, especially the private-sector members, know how upset everyone is, and how difficult it is and will become for many to pay these electric charges. They see the businesses closing, and several have their own businesses facing these increases. The wapa employees pay too, except I guess for the ones I've heard about who've had something 'special' done to their meters...I'm certainly not happy about the increase, nor have I been happy about the way wapa has been run historically..I wish there was some way for us to have a forensic audit performed, I can only imagine what might be discovered....but is anything going to change next month's bill? Don't see how, they have no money, tons of debt, lousy old equipment, too many employees, no financial expense management, and probably lots of graft and corruption...
Cutting the employees salaries would be an example, more cost-cutting on the administrative end toward an austerity budget, getting employee contributions toward healthcare, eliminating the autos that I would guess the executive staff have, but all this would be a drop in the bucket compared to their expense to generate power...and this is 20 or 30 years of neglect coming to fruition....


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Alana33
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October 5, 2012 12:55 pm  

WAPA employees are great.
It's the leadership at WAPA and at the Governor and Senatorial levesl that has been shortsighted for rolling blackouts, oops, I mean, decades.


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loucypher
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October 5, 2012 2:26 pm  

Then sit there and do nothing and nothing will change including all the complaining about it.*-)

Your negativity on most subjects comes through loud and clear even through the dank and dense all-pervading fog from which it crawls out. Nary a positive word to say and nary a solution other than to encourage mass revolt whether it be against a business or a government entity. What do you do to effect change? And since you challenged another poster on how long she's lived here, may I ask you the same question most civilly and in hopes of a civil response?

Try stepping down from your pedestal for 5 minutes. If you don't like my feedback don't read it. That's about as civil as it's gonna get.


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Lucy
 Lucy
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October 5, 2012 3:52 pm  

Outside of going with a Small Modular Reactor, the best bet for us is to modernize the base load (24/7) fleet of generating units with medium speed reciprocating engine generators (+45% efficient). These can use fuel oil (at first) and then NG when the infrastructure is installed to unload/store liquefied NG. All of the other island nations have gone through this process. Here are a few web sites of interest.

The Bermuda power system development story:

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,170683

Wartsila presentation as posted on Senator Sanes's web site .... click on the presentation at the bottom of the page:

http://www.senatorsanes.com/wartsilacaribbeaninc.htm

Source article discussing WAPA's RFP for NG and Propane:

http://stjohnsource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/10/05/wapa-seeks-natural-gas-suppliers

This seems to follow the plan that stxfoodie posted. However, I'm not quite sure how a company can put together a quote in one month that includes details/costs for the necessary infrastructure development for off-loading and storing LNG.

I'm not a proponent of WAPA by any means as they have spent too many years pushing renewables as the solution. At best they can be 20% of the power generating capacity and used as a "supplement" to the base load units. WAPA in parallel should have focused on the base load unit modernization. I also think that to modernize, we will need a large outside company / utility to step in and take over for WAPA. And I'm sure, WAPA officials know this and fear for their jobs ..... and as a result they are dragging their feet.

This modernization will take several years; which in the end should bring down rates to $0.25 to $0.35 per kWh (just a guess). But once WAPA clearly buys in, then they should be able to predict the rates for several years out .... even if still on fuel oil.

As for a turn-everything-off-for-a-day protest. It would get attention, but it would not negatively impact WAPA and WAPA officials as they are a non-profit organization... no ones salary is depnendent on the sale of electric. It would also actually help them save on fuel costs.

A better idea would be a turn-everything-ON-at-the-same-time protest. This most likely would put them into a forced outage and crash their system. Every one would have to be willing to accept the consequences .... but that would wake them up ..... and maybe put some fire under their asses.


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sheiba
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October 5, 2012 6:14 pm  

"turn everything on at the same time protest" (: hmmmm...... one of the reasons power companies discourage use of on demand hot water heaters, too much power going, usually early morning hours, at the same time.


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Neil
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October 5, 2012 7:19 pm  

I'm reading how much various posters say they have turned on and how little they pay and wondering HOW they are paying so little.
I never saw my WAPA bill below $250 with conservation.

This highlights the point: Anecdotal remarks are useless without posting actual kwh usage numbers.


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stxfoodie
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October 5, 2012 7:32 pm  

If we were really smart, we would offer one of these LNG or Propane companies with a worldwide presence EDC benefits and coax them to move their worldwide headquarters here.


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trainwreck82
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October 5, 2012 7:40 pm  

I'm reading how much various posters say they have turned on and how little they pay and wondering HOW they are paying so little.
I never saw my WAPA bill below $250 with conservation.

This highlights the point: Anecdotal remarks are useless without posting actual kwh usage numbers.

Take any monthly total anyone posts / current rate (.54?) / 30


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speee1dy
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October 5, 2012 7:53 pm  

not always dicvisable by 30, sometimes 28-33 days.
i am with you neil, i am wondering the same thing. maybe newer wiring? newer electronic?


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Alana33
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October 5, 2012 8:48 pm  

9 years ago - my WAPA bill was $148.00 monthly and that included electricity for my downstairs tenant, no special bulbs, did no special energy conservation and both up and down had their own electric stoves. Now I would jump for joy to be paying that amount of a bill as upstairs now has a propane stove, we unplug everything not in use, have the energy saving bulbs and do all one can to conserve and still get a bill above $350 - $400. It's disheartening! Haven't seen my new bill yet so that is a guesstimate.


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BeachcomberStt
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October 5, 2012 9:02 pm  

Mine was the highest since I moved here because it was the highest consumption I have used since I moved here. Both daily usage and monthly usage.

October's bill was for a 32 day period. Did the LEAC increase start with October's bill?

I will admit I did get a lax in my conservation ways. So, it is my fault my bill is higher than usual.
I am going to get vigilant again, because I do not want to see another bill that high.

Is there a website where one can enter their appliances and/or bills, which will show you how much current the appliances are using?
For example, toasters, rice cookers, standing fans, microwaves, tvs, electric stoves, etc.


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blu4u
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October 5, 2012 9:05 pm  

look for a tag with kilowatt draws. Or, simply, the energy star logo.


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BeachcomberStt
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October 5, 2012 9:10 pm  

Haven't seen my new bill yet so that is a guesstimate.

Alana, you can sign up on https://www.customerservice.viwapa.vi/Click2GovCXP/Index.jsp and you can pay your bill online, see your bill before you actually receive it in the mail, check your consumption history, billing history, payment history, and service summary.


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gringojj
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October 5, 2012 9:19 pm  

Before we rented this house I asked the realtor what the average monthly WAPA bill was here historically and she said about 250.


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beachy
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October 5, 2012 9:27 pm  

So, here's a printout of usage. 2 adults, child, rare window A/c use. Gas stove but electric clothes washer and dryer, dishwasher, 2 televisions, computer, etc. Electric hot water heater. 20 x 40 inground swimming pool. Ceiling fans in all rooms, outdoor lighting. 20+ cu ft refrigerator, about 10 years old. Wiring/house is about 45 years old, newer circuit panel box etc. But, my bill used to be as low as $75 ten years ago!

Highest bill was $277 in this 2 year spread, lowest was $98. Wapa says avwerage for last 12 months is $187

Billing Periods Number of Days Daily Usage Total Usage
09/2012 29 17.66 512.00
08/2012 33 13.61 449.00
07/2012 31 16.13 500.00
06/2012 32 16.63 532.00
05/2012 30 17.17 515.00
04/2012 33 16.94 559.00
03/2012 30 13.57 407.00
02/2012 29 14.21 412.00
01/2012 34 10.38 353.00
12/2011 28 16.32 457.00
11/2011 28 7.50 210.00
10/2011 33 12.52 413.00
09/2011 31 16.19 502.00
08/2011 28 18.18 509.00
07/2011 33 20.45 675.00
06/2011 30 18.23 547.00
05/2011 32 18.44 590.00
04/2011 31 17.13 531.00
03/2011 32 17.94 574.00
02/2011 31 19.03 590.00
01/2011 34 18.68 635.00
12/2010 32 18.75 600.00
11/2010 30 17.93 538.00
10/2010 33 17.48 577.00
09/2010 29 21.66 628.00


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blu4u
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October 5, 2012 9:31 pm  

The way I see it WAPA does not have any solutions for the current situation that will make any significant change for people right now. Are things balanced with the current increase or are they going to ask for more in 3 months?

WAPA is and has been looking at alternative energy sources and in fact has implemented many already. Too little too late but I'm going to give them credit for trying. The oil crisis isn't something new and isn't something particular to our little blot on the ocean. WAPA has missed the proverbial boat so many times over so many long years with the major detriment being the elected senators who have sway over WAPA because WAPA is a semi-autonomous branch of the government.

After they successfully shot down South East's bid for WAPA, they decided to get into wind power/windmills. They spent a huge amount of money on research of this alternative energy. It was apparent to anyone who could navigate a simple google that the proposed windmill equipment they were looking at was obsolete and even at best wasn't suited to our locale. The proposal fell flat for many reasons but, in my opinion, primarily because legitimate providers with windmills specific to our terrain weren't open to monetary kickbacks.

As long as the voting populace continues to elect nincompoops into office ...

Wapa's roll in the energy crisis should not be discounted. Wapa owed HOVENSA a considerable sum. WAPA showed no intention of paying the back bills. HOVENSA pulled out and took their discounted oil with them. We, as consumers, pay the price for Wapa's (the VI governments) short sighted management stratigies. HOVENSA was also looking for govermental cost cooperation on retooling the plant for LNG.


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Alana33
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October 5, 2012 9:32 pm  

Haven't seen my new bill yet so that is a guesstimate.

Alana, you can sign up on https://www.customerservice.viwapa.vi/Click2GovCXP/Index.jsp and you can pay your bill online, see your bill before you actually receive it in the mail, check your consumption history, billing history, payment history, and service summary.

Thanks Beachcomber - will check it out.

"Is there a website where one can enter their appliances and/or bills, which will show you how much current the appliances are using?
For example, toasters, rice cookers, standing fans, microwaves, tvs, electric stoves, etc."

I unplug all that stuff when not being used or have on a things on a power strip that I turn off as well as having a timer for the hot water heater. No outside lights are ever on anymore. Glad it's starting to get cooler as won't have to use A/C (only at night from 8PM to 5AM) at all, pretty soon, until next May/June.
That will help with the rising costs, I hope!


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BeachcomberStt
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October 5, 2012 10:24 pm  

Alana,you're welcome! I do the same as you. Unplugging when not in use and using power strips with on/off switch.
My water heater has an on/off switch, so if I want a VERY HOT shower I turn it on. I can't remember the last time I did! 😀
The breaker is even off for the hot water heater.

I found this website somewhat useful about kwh and appliances.

http://www.keysenergy.mobi/appliances.php


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gringojj
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October 5, 2012 10:39 pm  

Okay I am new to the island but think I understand whats going on. If anything I say re this topic is incorrect please correct me but dont attack me.

I think I understand the why part of why we are in this predicament. I have not seen any "short term" solutions to the problem from WAPA. This is a problem that is affecting us greatly right now. Long term solutions are great but it may be years until we see any benefits from them.

I was asking does anyone know if the recent LEAC increase is going to balance the budget so to speak or are they going to come back demanding more in a few months because they still cant hack it.

I was told by a local business owner with a gas station/store/laundromat that he pays about 24000 a month to WAPA. This is before the new increase that is coming. Was he just trying to make me feel bad for him or does this sound right? If he is telling the truth that is insane and I feel really bad for him when he gets a 19% increase.

I also understand that the LEAC portion of our bill is not a direct charge for usage but a surcharge. So the way I see it is if businesses that pay these enormous WAPA bills start closing, the usage of electricity will go down at a much smaller rate in relation to the LEAC. So although WAPA now has to generate less power because they are off the grid, they will be losing a massive amount of money every month now that they are no longer paying the massive LEAC charge.

So the income will be reduced at a rate not proportionate to the usage. To me that will mean WAPA will have to increase even more to try and balance things out. Of course the effects of that would be us paying more for stuff at the store and more in our WAPA bills. Not good.

Thats why I asked the question does anyone know if the federal govt would step in if something like that happened?


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Matt T
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October 6, 2012 1:04 am  

Have you noticed the expansion of the NG headquarters on STX? Think they are anticipating something?


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blu4u
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October 6, 2012 1:09 am  

Gringojj, I don't have a crystal ball, but I suspect you are correct. No short term solution in place. No long term solution in place. I perdict thins will get much worse before any real improvements are seriously discussed.


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gringojj
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October 6, 2012 1:33 am  

Ok I got the skinny on LEAC direct from the WAPA website:

"What is the LEAC?

LEAC is an acronym for the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause. Simply put, LEAC is fuel consumption and related costs. The Public Services Commission (PSC) authorized the LEAC factor in 1989 to allow WAPA to recover fuel costs used to produce electricity and water for our customers.

Approximately 76% of WAPA’s budget is expended on fuel costs, which are highly susceptible to wide market fluctuations. These costs are recovered through the LEAC factor. About 24% of WAPA’s budget pays for personnel, transmission, distribution, debt service, maintenance, insurance, and other costs that are reasonably predictable and necessary. These operating costs are recovered through base rate revenues (non-fuel related costs presently labeled as “consumption” on customers’ bills) and not through the LEAC factor. As is the case with most utilities, fuel costs are passed on to customers. Fuel costs have always been included in WAPA's rates.

WAPA does not set the LEAC factor. The utility presents the PSC with all related data when it files a petition for a LEAC factor adjustment at least 45 days before the proposed effective date. PSC members scrutinize the filing based on detailed technical reports from its staff and an independent technical consulting firm. As required by law, the PSC then holds a public hearing prior to making a final decision about adjustments in the LEAC factor.

Prior to 2003, a portion of the cost of fuel was contained in the base or energy consumption charge. When the price of fuel became so volatile, the PSC determined that WAPA should remove fuel costs from the base rate and put all related fuel expenses into the LEAC factor. When the PSC considers changes in the LEAC factor, any under-recovery or over-recovery is trued up during the review process. In the event that WAPA’s fuel forecasts indicate an under-recovery, the utility is allowed an adjustment that is generally recouped in the LEAC surcharge over a six to twelve month period."

So based on this, assuming this is still accurate, the LEAC charge is a surcharge for fuel. One would conclude that in any time period in the past when a barrel of oil was the price it is now that the LEAC rate would be the same. The only variables would be if the generators or equipment is runnng much less efficient than it was in years prior, or if the forecast indicates and under-recovery.


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