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rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

Your pool pump might be sucking amps. The one year we rented a house with a pool was our worst consumption by far.

you are probably right, but since we are leasing, what can we do about that? Any suggestions? I'm more than willing to try something.

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

WAPA rates affect EVERYTHING we must purchase or pay for as all the merchants must pass their rate increases on to us.
I have everything that needs to be plugged in on power strips except for the refrigerator and freezer units.
The toaster, microwave, toaster oven and even the electronic ballast on the propane stove, TV's, computer, printer, etc. remain turned off or unplugged when not in use. I no longer leave on any fans or even any lights except in a room that is being used when being used. I have a small timer for the hot water heater and planning on replacing with a better timer or hot water on demand systems. I have changed over all light bulbs, never have the outside lights on at night, unless I am away and those are motion detectors and get turned off immediately upon arrival back home at night, yet my bill steadily climbs. 2 months ago.......$542. Last month without using the A/C in bedroom (which was only on at night to sleep) was $442.00. I haven't gotten this month's bill as yet but my rental home's bill climbed by $100 and there is no A/C there as it gets great breezes being at a high altitude. Luckily, electricity is not included so I don't have to pay that but I cringe every time I have to open my WAPA bill. I am so grateful for the cooler winter weather as now, I don't even have to run a ceiling fan, at all!

We are all hostages to our antiquated WAPA and the powers that be that run it, incompetently, while being grossly overpaid to do so.
I don't know how many of you read this Daily News article (link below) but no doubt, we rate payers will absorb that loss due to the lack of prior, proper planning on the part of WAPA and their complete lack of foresight.
Be prepared for WAPA to ask for yet another rate increase! We are now paying $0.53 per KWh.
9 years ago, my bill was $148.00 per month for main house and the rental apt., combined.
How times change!

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/first-delivery-from-wapa-s-fuel-oil-supplier-takes-twice-as-long-as-agreement-permits-1.1422586

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Posted : January 1, 2013 2:21 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

also could be old wiring. we are almost as conservative as rosiesland and i think ours is high, yet others who use more have lower bills.
also-we rent and can not afford or have permission to install energy efficient solar anything also could not install one of those instant hot water tanks.

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Posted : January 1, 2013 3:25 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

also could be old wiring. we are almost as conservative as rosiesland and i think ours is high, yet others who use more have lower bills.
also-we rent and can not afford or have permission to install energy efficient solar anything also could not install one of those instant hot water tanks.

It's not old wiring as everything was replaced after hurricane Marilyn and house rebuilt before I purchased in 2003.
It's WAPA!

You could try approaching your landlord about installing a instant hot water heater. They may go for such an update.
Maybe offer to split expenses?

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Posted : January 1, 2013 5:22 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

we tried to do that a few years ago when he re modeled the bathrooms-no luck thanks though

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Posted : January 1, 2013 6:26 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

I don't know about you guys, but I am now on a mission and I will very soon write, er, email every Senator and House person and sent them my bill and explain just what I am actively doing to conserve my energy usage and see if anyone of them bite and check in to this.

Just talked to a friend who talked to a person recently who was on the island as a consultant for the US g'ment and he said he had been here 3 (THREE) times with suggestions to make improvements and would result in lower bills for us and each time he came here NOTHING was ever done on implemented and he felt it would never change. He said this time he threw up his hands! SMH!!!!!!!!

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Posted : January 1, 2013 7:07 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

I wouldn't put it past WAPA to send guys out to tinker with meters to make them run faster.

I've heard of people paying WAPA guys to come adjust their meters to make them run slower, so it's possible that the opposite can be done. And it's possible that WAPA is doing this.

Not to sound like a major conspiracy theorist, but you never know what could be possible....

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Posted : January 1, 2013 7:21 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

I wouldn't put it past WAPA to send guys out to tinker with meters to make them run faster.

I

I am not one to defend WAPA's prices or management but I find that conspiracy comment a bit demeaning to the many line personnel who risk their lives in rain, wind and bad weather to fix lines, transformers and personal home connections Day or Night - - - - conserve energy.

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Posted : January 1, 2013 8:57 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

Exit, I didn't mean that the WAPA guys are doing this on their own, but rather that it might be a WAPA policy to send them out to do this. I don't mean to say anything about the hardworking linesmen, but management is certainly another story. I wouldn't put anything past them. Maybe I'm just too paranoid lately about corruption here in the VI.

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Posted : January 1, 2013 9:52 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

a few years ago when i still lived in my old house, WAPA bill was very high for just me. well anyway one day the meter reader (WAPA) told me something was wrong with my meter and i should call office and ask for someone to check it. i did as he said and lady in office said nothing was wrong, so no one would come out. even went in and talked to them.....suck of teeth and told no one would come out.

the meters are old (most) and they do not work properly. could be reason for some high bills?

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Posted : January 2, 2013 10:48 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

That's an interesting thought and worth following up on.

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Posted : January 2, 2013 1:53 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

Our very old meter was replaced about a year ago with a fancy new digital model.

There was no difference I could see in the WAPA bill in the few months after the switch.

But I agree with Islandjoan...and we all know how things work here in the USVI.

Its all about who ya know.

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Posted : January 2, 2013 7:59 pm
Matt T
(@Matt_T)
Advanced Member

I don't think they are speeding the meters up, but I do know that if you have a big dog, overgrown access to your meter or anything else that makes it difficult for the meter reader to physically get to your meter- they will estimate. It happened to me and several people I know. You get almost the same exact bill every month. Then one day you get a bill that is completely different (usually more) which means someone finally read the meter and you are now being back charged for all the times when it wasn't read. There is no recourse on this, you either pay the bill or your current get lock off.

My advice to any one in this type of situation is to make sure you do whatever it takes to ensure easy access to the meter.

All the people asking about solar- it is really quite simple to buy a couple panels on ebay (sunelec.com has some of the best prices but customer service is spotty), then get a MPPT charge controller, a couple Trojan T-105 batteries, a True Sine Wave inverter, and you have yourself a little system you can use to power computers, TV's, lights etc. The price of this type of system would be less than $1000. During the summer when the power goes out everytime it rains, you will be very thankful you spent that money on a relaible power source. The side effect is your WAPA bills will go down slightly. You can then continue to add solar panels and batteries to your system as you see fit. Just spend the money one time and get a nice MPPT charge controller.

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Posted : January 3, 2013 12:58 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

dont they shoot your meter with a thingy from their car?? sort of like a radar gun that records the reading? have been home and seen them do something like that.

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Posted : January 4, 2013 11:06 am
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

Hmmmm, WAPA Bills....

No too long ago, Steve (From Quality Elec) and I were having a rather lengthy discussion about so some of the electrical engineering aspects of wiring and it's effect on WAPA Bills...

We have more than once found that improper wiring between the two phase wires with relation to the neutral has caused people's bills to be inflated.... Though this might be a bit complicated, here's a quick walk through- afterward we'll touch on the practical side of what you can do at the appliance level...

Typically the power on the H side of the street transformer comes in at 13,800 volts on a staggered phase arrangement (first transformer connected H1 to A, H2 to N, second transformer H1 to B, H2 to N...) The way that this connected in single phase systems is usually inconsequential to the end user, except that incorrect staggering will cause poor power factors at the generators and sub-station, and the overall efficiency of the electrical system is less than optimum- this is also represented in the line loss.

1) The consumer side of the street transformer is a three tap step down transformer, X1 goes to wire A (Black), X2 goes to Neutral (White) and X3 goes to B (Red). The voltage measurement from A to B is 240 volts, from A to Neutral or B to Neutral is 120 volts. The Neutral and the Ground are TWO SEPARATE WIRES.

2) To get to 240v, we connect (through circuit breakers) we connect the load across A to B (this is best for large refrigerators, hot water heaters, air conditioners, pool pumps etc..) The Neutral plays no role in this side of the circuit. The Ground is generally connected to frames, casings and etc..

3) To get 120v to the individual outlet, we connect AN EQUAL amount of loads (in amps) through circuit breakers from the A and B Wires through the Neutral, remember that the large blade of the outlet is the Neutral. Any time that there is a "phase imbalance" (ie: connecting more loads to the A wire than the B wire or vice-versa) this causes the power consumption to increase by say 16.5% percent...

4) So, What can we do to save? For openers, every large load in the home should be a 240v load- using 120v Hot Water Heaters or large refrigerators is a big waste. Having a large amount of power returning through the ground instead of the neutral is another power hog. Remember that the ground is there to protect you, not to carry the neutral current....

5) Except for changing an occassional outlet or so, have ALL of your electrical work accomplished by LICENSED Electricians, more often than not, I found that there's a big difference in the performance- where staggering and balancing of loads, keeping the ground and neutral separate and other considerations were found lacking...

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Posted : January 5, 2013 4:06 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

Suggest anyone wanting to know more- read this handbook!

www.alexanderpublications.com/.../Dist.Trans.%20Handbook.pdf

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Posted : January 5, 2013 4:27 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

Is there someone you recommend to come and check that out in a home?

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Posted : January 5, 2013 8:49 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

There are a number of Electrical Contractors on STX, I have used Owen Johnson Electric for a large project- and was satisfied, granted his rates are high, but they do good work and they are Licensed.

The key is to use a licensed electrician or contractor- good installation starts with the design and electrical engineering phase before building, I have designed, modified, repaired and maintained large marine type systems for many years, three phase ungrounded systems including switchboards, switchgear, generators, controls, industrial controls and the like.....

It's relatively simple to do the analysis- anyone with a good solid electrical background and a couple of meters ( a DVM (digital volt meter) and an Clamp On Ammeter ) can do it, without even disconnecting something....Most of the island electricians are vaguely familiar with the concept.... I would advise strongly against most people going inside electrical panels and the like unless they're a real electrician...

I'll give you the recipe free of charge!- And how to analyze it- but have someone qualified take the measurements!

1) Turn off ALL circuit breakers in the house, including the mains.
2) On the LINE SIDE of the two hot legs coming into the mains- measure the voltage- this should be between 220 and 240 volts.
A lower or higher deviation is sometimes normal, as the voltage from the source often does vary
A reading higher than say 250 volts indicates and improper tap arrangement or connection at the pole transformer
A lower reading than say 215 volts indicates either the same tap connection or a ground.
Measure the current on each of the hot legs with the clamp on ammeter- it should be zero.
3) Measure the voltage between each hot leg and ground- it should be 1/2 of the above reading- a much lower reading on one of the legs
will confirm the presence of an unwanted ground between that hot leg.
4) At the Main Service Box, measure between ground and the neutral bar- this should be as close to zero as possible.
5) Now, once you are completely satified that EVERYTHING in your home is OFF, check the KWH Meter- it should NOT be moving.
If the meter is moving, the power is going somewhere that it shouldn't- check to make sure that someone hasn;t "inadvertently" tapped
into one of your hot legs- this coupled a lower reading on 3) indicates that power is going out through that
6) Now restore the power to your home and turn on the items that are normally used- take a measurement with the clamp on ammeter on
each of the line side hot legs- they should be fairly equal. 20 amps on one and 18 amps on the other is not bad... 50 amps on one and
20 amps on the other indicates that the leg with the most amps is improperly loaded.
7) Measure the voltage between the ground and the neutral- this should be still as close to zero as possible- remember that "smart
batteries" and power supplies may have filter capacitors which continuously bleed current when turned on...
8) Voltage check the far ends of the circuits in the house- at the outlets- they should be fairly uniform and 1/2 of the voltage on 2), lower
voltages can be a range of things including grounds, loose wire connections, improper wire sizes...
9) Measure the current flowing through the neutral leg- this will vary depending on how many 120 and 240 loads are connected...

This would be a good start for openers...

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Posted : January 5, 2013 10:59 pm
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