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Cory
 Cory
(@Cory)
Advanced Member

Well PET Coke is a by-product of refining oil. We need to wean ourselves off of oil and fossil fuels. How much longer are we going to be 100% reliable on oil...?

We all understnd that we cant go 100% renewable right now, right away...but the commitment is there to go towards renewable. This started off right when the Govenor moved the energy office into the govenors office.

Hugo Hodge came to the VIEnergy office meeting tonight at the UVI and answered alot of questions. You should be able to view the meeting soon at www.vienergy.org.

There was also great discussion and questions about how to spend the new fed money!!! NEW REBATES COMING SOON!!!

Its confirmed!!!!! The new VIEO rebate for PV panels will go to $5/watt up from $3.50/watt!! up to a 2k system and rebate in ONE cycle!!

That just made the VIEO rebate $10,000 up from $7000 for a 2k system and a rebate that you get ONE time in under 60 days!!

Announcement from VIEO--soon come 🙂

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Posted : June 17, 2009 2:55 am
Michaelds9
(@Michaelds9)
Advanced Member

Do they have a plan/map with the step by step starting from point A to point Z ?
It's all good to have ideas and it's another thing altogether to make those ideas a reality.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
So every body gets a subsidized "deal" on solar panels but where does that money come from?
SOMEBODY has to cough it up.

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Posted : June 17, 2009 1:36 pm
Cory
 Cory
(@Cory)
Advanced Member

Do they have a plan/map with the step by step starting from point A to point Z ?
It's all good to have ideas and it's another thing altogether to make those ideas a reality.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
So every body gets a subsidized "deal" on solar panels but where does that money come from?
SOMEBODY has to cough it up.

Im holding in my hand a 61 page draft of the new USVI comprehensive Energy Strategy that outlines many different strategies.

"A USVI energy strategy is needed to ensure the availability of affordable and reliable energy for the future and maintain a high standard of living for the citizenry."

Main objectives of the strategy are to:
1. Reduce Energy Costs
2. Increase Efficiency of Energy use and Production
3. Increase Fuel Diversity and Reliability
4 Promote Clean Energy

The VIEO is working directly with the DOE(Dept of Energy), and the SSEB(Souther States Energy Board) to get this plan into action.

There are 31 MILLION dollars that are part of the stimulus money(for energy) to come to the USVI. Approx 10m of that is goign to go towards the Solar Hot Water Program that will roll out shortly. The other 20+ million is what is being discussed.

Heres an article about the meeting last night.. http://www.onepaper.com/stcroixvi/?v=d&i=&s=News:Local&p=1243829541

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Posted : June 17, 2009 2:10 pm
Michaelds9
(@Michaelds9)
Advanced Member

Cory that's great to hear but I gotta wonder with the cost of electricity so high .....

Public Offers Comments on V.I. Energy Strategy
by John Baur

Bevan Smith, director of the V.I. Energy Office, addresses Tuesday's hearing.
Bevan Smith, director of the V.I. Energy Office, addresses Tuesday's hearing.
June 16, 2009 -- About a dozen members of the public turned out Wednesday to ask questions and offer input on the proposed Energy Strategy for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

..... only 12 people bothered to show up ...........

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Posted : June 17, 2009 2:25 pm
Cheeseheads
(@Cheeseheads)
Advanced Member

This is completely ridiculous as alternative energy is already proven, avail and "plug and play" at this point. No, you cannot go 100% alternative but one could easily (with a bit of an investment) cut a MAJOR percentage off of the WAPA dependency.

As for celan green energy storage, it does exist and is proven. Take a look at ZBB Energy for one which has a "green" energy storage system that is already in use and highly effective.

Until "common folk" take the initiative to move forward with the implementation of every affordable (relative term / long range) alternative, WAPA and Hovensa will be more than happy to continue to "bend you over the barrel" and have their way with your wallet.

Do not look to government to solve this problem, take ownership and have a public but peace-full "mutiny" of sorts. Everyone wants to believe that they are victims of monopolies, I believe many (not all) are passive enablers.

*-)

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Posted : June 17, 2009 2:49 pm
Cory
 Cory
(@Cory)
Advanced Member

Yeah there was only aout 30 people there and a dozen from the public, and of those 12, most were renewable energy companies.

I thnk people are in a lull atm, when the price per kWh goes back to .50c people will start to care again........sigh :/

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Posted : June 17, 2009 3:29 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"Do not look to government to solve this problem, take ownership and have a public but peace-full "mutiny" of sorts. Everyone wants to believe that they are victims of monopolies, I believe many (not all) are passive enablers."

It would be interesting to have you come back and tell us what you think after you've moved here and lived on island awhile.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2009 3:33 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Stx had protests every friday last sumer for about two months. Please correct me if I'm wrong but it seemed it did little good. WAPA rates did not go down until oil did. The protests where impressive I thought but I don't think its the tactic that works here or rather it takes so long to see results from hard work. That has been my career experience. You put in place changes to make things better but it takes a year or two before everyone gets on board and does the right thing.

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Posted : June 17, 2009 3:50 pm
Cheeseheads
(@Cheeseheads)
Advanced Member

Ok dntw8up, perhaps I came off as a bit high on the horse and miscommunicated. I sounds as if there is no voice of the people and very little interest in trying to speak out as it has breen fruitless in the past.

So there is nothing the people can do to change the utilities and government way of doing things, understood.

What I meant to convey was that IMHO people live the realities that they choose to accept. Granted it is out of reach for many, but I think it is doable to think and implement today's technology in an Ed Begley Jr. way, take ownership of your energy usage and change the source wherever possible.Heck, we lobbed 20% plus off of of our electric by changing all lightbulbs over to compact florescents.

It must be very frustrating to live in a dictatorship but that should not stop one from controlling what they can. If there is nothing that can be done, then I guess venting is all you have and should at least keep the cost of antidepressants down! 😀

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Posted : June 17, 2009 4:06 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Part of the problem is that very few people understand the technology and the arguments.
For example, half of what Cory just posted required me to read it TWICE 😉

Conservation and flourescents are stop gaps measures that don't fully address the need for alternative sources.
They/we need led. And right now there are so many OTHER damn issues down here distracting people (convention) that energy takes a back seat. But I think Cory is right on... money talks. As the prices rise and the rebates start to flow, so will the issue.

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Posted : June 17, 2009 4:19 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Stimulus money for renewable energy rebates. Wonderful to hear!
I'll be installing PV panels sooner than I thought I hope. No brainer over the long term. And that's the key. Long term! Once you recoup the investment........Wahoo! Free electricity!

To quote Cory: "That just made the VIEO rebate $10,000 up from $7000 for a 2k system and a rebate that you get ONE time in under 60 days!!"

So a 2000 watt system would get a $10,000 rebate. What if you go bigger? Add on next year? In 6 months?

Thanks for the info Cory

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Posted : June 17, 2009 4:34 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

The problem is that is still isn't economically viable for the average person. There's no path to break-even in a reasonable timeframe for the average person who is just living from paycheck to paycheck. There are some who can afford to invest in green technology to lead the way and help out our environment and that's great and they should be applauded. Early adaptors will pave the way to affordable solutions but we are years away from that happening and further given our small size in USVI it won't be affordable here until after it's affordable in other places. Even if our WAPA costs skyrocketed people would displace their consumption to meet their budget before they could save to make the investment in green tech. Even then it doesn't mean we'll be free of WAPA. WAPA is a significant employer and will do what they can to survive long-term. As technologies become more affordable don't be surprised if they (and I'm talking years from now) start looking at wave, solar, and or wind power alternatives to offer to the island (but this won't happen until we're on the verge of affordability of green tech for the average person of course.)

Regarding Hovensa my understanding is they sell gas at a rack rate that is the same as what they pay for crude. In other words, not only aren't they profiting from islands sales but they're subsidizing as they absorb the costs of production. As it was explained to me last year this is contractual between Hovensa and VI government I think. I have no clue as to whether it still is in place during times when refining margins are already negative to begin with.

This is completely ridiculous as alternative energy is already proven, avail and "plug and play" at this point. No, you cannot go 100% alternative but one could easily (with a bit of an investment) cut a MAJOR percentage off of the WAPA dependency.

As for celan green energy storage, it does exist and is proven. Take a look at ZBB Energy for one which has a "green" energy storage system that is already in use and highly effective.

Until "common folk" take the initiative to move forward with the implementation of every affordable (relative term / long range) alternative, WAPA and Hovensa will be more than happy to continue to "bend you over the barrel" and have their way with your wallet.

Do not look to government to solve this problem, take ownership and have a public but peace-full "mutiny" of sorts. Everyone wants to believe that they are victims of monopolies, I believe many (not all) are passive enablers.

*-)

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Posted : June 17, 2009 5:50 pm
Cheeseheads
(@Cheeseheads)
Advanced Member

Nothing to do but vent then I guess.

Seems that the only solution for the masses is to wait for things to fix themselves eventually / perhaps.

Bummer......

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Posted : June 17, 2009 6:12 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I wouldn't say it's "affordable" yet but getting better. If someone owns or is buying their home it seems a good investment in the long run.
If someone is building or totally remodelling, solar should be considered in the budget.
The value can be percieved in many ways. Being self sufficient, not paying fluctuating WAPA bills,(remember last year?) Mine went as high as $600 and my current bill is $148. Not cringing every time you open the bill! Not feeling like you have to live in the dark, ....

After making the investment in solar hot water I haven't looked back and wish I had done it sooner. It's a great feeling to take a long hot shower and know it's costing you zip! (We have a huge cistern so we don't pay for water). I realize it will take awhile to pay off but knowing it isn't using electricy is a wonderful feeling.

It should also increase the value of the home.

You don't have to be wealthy to consider solar. There are tons of poor man's solar ideas on the net. From small panels to charge a battery for a few low voltage lights to heating your pool with homemade solar water heaters and everything in between. It's interesting to see how creative some people can get with it. Going solar doesn't have to mean getting off the grid. But eventually producing what you use would be great!! And incentives/rebates help put it in reach.

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Posted : June 17, 2009 7:46 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

On my facebook page I have a Google Earth photo that shows my water heater from space 😀

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2009 9:19 pm
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

It`s true, WAPA increases rates due to energy conservation! One opinion: http://www.onepaper.com/stthomasvi/?v=d&i=&s=Commentary:Open+Forum&p=1243829438

WAPA doesn`t seem to understand consumption is down BC rates are still too high(as is everything else,thus the reduced consumption)!

The PSC & WAPA also do not account for the inflation for food,etc. WAPA caused last year from these outrageous rates.
Although energy costs have went down due to these high rates,those high prices have not<<Georgetown Consulting, the PSC’s consultants have NOT taken this very important component of consumer cost into account(it`s all about WAPA,RIGHT?)

If I were to raise my rates BC less people were using me due to outrageous rates,my guess is,I`d have even less customer usage!
We need to nip this Excessive conservation tax in the bud,as if this (& oil prices raise even more) there will be even less consumption!
So,they will raise it even more!
As it stands, one report notes:the median income across the territory runs $33,474 a year. And residents pay nine percent of their income for electricity. For the same median income on the mainland, residents pay just more than two percent of their annual income for electricity.

I wouldn`t be opposed to a summer time WAPA boycott,where we only use our refrigerators,turn off extra freezers,live in 1 room at a time,use clothes lines, turn off all but 1 water heater,use fans instead of air con etc.

We`ve done this before,we can do it again!
This time voluntarily!

And,PLEASE explain, how does WAPA get fed $$$ for being green when raising rates while WE the consumers use less(and get penalized for doing so)??

While thanks to WAPAs excessive rates my carbon footprint maybe small,I think you know where I`d like to stick it!!!!!!!!!

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Posted : June 18, 2009 6:24 am
Cory
 Cory
(@Cory)
Advanced Member

We will make an impact when people continue to change their ways and enough renewable systems are put into use and WAPA can shut OFF one of the turbines. The turbines run most efficient when operating at 100%. The overall demand has gone down inthe last 6 months and turbines are not running at max efficiency. I expect over the next year that many PV systems and SHW systems will be put into use, people will see rising rates and continue to use less electricity. As this trend continues, hopefully it will enable WAPA to shut down a turbine or two....Its going to take some time, but we on the right path. Unfortunately, WAPA has compounded issues that effect their prices...mainly oil cost...line loss...theft....old equipment...and too many employees!

dntw8up ......you can see it from space...wow, it must be a big one. lol

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Posted : June 18, 2009 1:52 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

No, it's just a normal solar water heater, but Google Earth is amazing.

"I wouldn`t be opposed to a summer time WAPA boycott,where we only use our refrigerators,turn off extra freezers,live in 1 room at a time,use clothes lines, turn off all but 1 water heater,use fans instead of air con etc."

With the exception of using a clothes line, just about everyone I know has always lived this way on island. Edited to add that EE is the only exception in my use of "just about", because s/he uses ac. 😛

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Topic starter Posted : June 18, 2009 4:22 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

dnt: It is HOT out here on the east end!!;)

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Posted : June 18, 2009 9:15 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Would that be steady hotness or flashes of hotness? 😀

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Topic starter Posted : June 18, 2009 9:17 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

We are having steady hotness here on the east end of STX and I am having flashes of hotness. Double hotness? I am using my ac as well at night. In the day time fans and wet towels. :S

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Posted : June 18, 2009 11:36 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Yes. :@)

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Posted : June 19, 2009 1:29 am
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