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WAPA Rates  

 

Ian
 Ian
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February 21, 2008 10:47 pm  

What exactly are the WAPA Rates for electricity on STT?


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Cory
 Cory
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February 22, 2008 1:24 am  

Varies a tad, between residential, condo's and commercial. 35.37cents a kilowatt is what i have seen in several spots, but the number varies. Id say between 33 and 36 cents average. That number is based on $80 a barrel oil cost. Today its over $100 a barrel. Expect a WAPA rate increase soon.

The time is now to put the best resourse we have to work. The Sun... Solar Power is the answer!

I think i just found my new signature 🙂


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Jeff Kruse
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February 22, 2008 11:45 am  

Hi Cory,

I looked into solar but found it still doesn't make economic sense. It's still to expensive and most of the system needs to be replaced just when you might be breaking even. We might get lucky in a few years and have panels that are 10X's cheaper.

On the other hand if your paying 50 cents a KWH then it makes sense to do it now.


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letahl
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February 22, 2008 12:07 pm  

Solar is brilliant and totally saves you money once you figure it out. If you walk into an energy friendly store and ask them to make a system for you, it'll run you $7,000 or something and, yes, that doesn't make sense. But with conservative energy usage you can set up a system yourself for a fraction of the cost. But you do have to get your hands dirty to figure it out and set it up.


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Cory
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February 22, 2008 1:18 pm  

"I looked into solar but found it still doesn't make economic sense. It's still to expensive and most of the system needs to be replaced just when you might be breaking even. We might get lucky in a few years and have panels that are 10X's cheaper. On the other hand if your paying 50 cents a KWH then it makes sense to do it now."

Jeff, I guess it depends on how you look at it. Paying 30 cents, and soon 40cents a kilowatt is what doesnt make sense. You wanna pay now or pay later? The cost of electricity is 100% dependant on cost of oil for the territory. Thw cost of oil worldwide will go up, supply goes down, demand goes up and so does the price...

You can have a system that will pay itself off in about 8 years, and then have free energy for the next 30 years. If energy prices continue to go up for next 6-8 years what they have done in last 6-8, its a no-brainer.

What do you mean most of the system needs to be replaced? The panels today carry a 25 year warranty and they are documented to work 40 to 50 years. They require very little maintenance. Battery systems are the only thing that need to be replaced, and batteries are only needed if you want backup when the power company is offline. You only need to have a few hours of battery backup to cover 90% of the "normal" outages in the territory. Keeping your fridge and water pump, computer, couple lights is typical "critical" loads you want to keep going.

The biggest problem with systems today is the upfront cost. Financing is another solution, it can let you pay LESS to the bank than you would to WAPA, however the pay back time gets extended.

Letahl is correct, you can do alot on your own if you dont want to invest in a solar electricity system. Heck...a long black hose on your roof and a siphon principle tank and you can make your own hot water! Switch your lights, Line dry your clothes, switch to DC applainces etc etc.


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heepajeep
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February 22, 2008 1:30 pm  

Can someone post exactly all the charges on their residential WAPA bill?
Although there is a per kwh charge there is most likely also
minimum billing charge
fuel cost recovery charge
delivery charge
etc. etc. etc.
please indicate which are fixed charges and per kwh charges.


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Linda J
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Joined: 16 years ago
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February 22, 2008 3:02 pm  

OK here you go:

Customer charge $5.00
ONS Charge @ .071317 $28.74
ILOT SUR @ .001950 .79
HB SURCHG@ .00200 .81
ES LEAC @ .254733 $102.66

Total electric $138

Hope this helps someone


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migiz
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February 22, 2008 4:05 pm  

Ouch! That definitely helps us run some numbers.

Based on our most recent power bill here in Seattle suburbs my electricity would go from $125.76 to $453.00 by my count! The problem is that we spend even more in gas given our water heater, stove, heat pump, and fireplace (not needed there of course) are gas based. Given some of these items would be electric based when we move I'm guessing I could be looking at a $900+ electric bill!!! Yikes - I'm going to have to speak to the family about making some changes (particularly the Mrs. who loves the A/C...)


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heepajeep
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February 22, 2008 4:36 pm  

Thanks LindaJ
Looks like 0.33 cents per kWh plus $5.00
And that you used 403kWh ?
Is that in an occupied house or closed, how big ?

I use around 1451kwh per month year round average in 3 bedroom brick 1250sf.

I don't see the need for air conditioning nor a heater. A dehumidifier might be nice but then in order to take advantage of that you need to close up the room or house.


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Betty
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February 22, 2008 5:20 pm  

Question, Cory you mentioned the panels carry a 25yr warranty, will the warranty work here? For many products, when you bring them overseas or international companies will no longer honor the warranty. How well do they really stand up the elements here. The salty/humid air is a killer for just about everything's longevity.


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Cory
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February 22, 2008 5:46 pm  

www.sunpowercorp.com We use these guys, they are a global company and there warranty is good. We think they have the best panels around.


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puddlejumper
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February 22, 2008 8:18 pm  

This is some interesting reading http://www.hydrogenappliances.com/index.html I am not associated with this in any way. This guy has some interesting ideas about batteries and wind power.


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Alexandra
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February 22, 2008 10:00 pm  

migiz - I moved here from Seattle and pay less now for WAPA than I did on my combined power and natural gas bill for any of the houses I owned in Washington State throughout my adult life. My house here is smaller, but we're talking about years later and I'm still paying about the same or more often less per month. I've had the high, unexplainable WAPA bill as everyone has had on occasion, but those got sorted out as faulty meter readings.

The larger portions of your power bills in the PNW are to heat your house and your water. You don't heat a house in the islands and if you select carefully you can get a house where A/C isn't really a necessity. Water starts at 80 degrees or so from the cistern before you heat it and we have really small hot water heaters, so you save kW on that also. So while we pay more per kW of power, it doesn't automatically mean your bill is going to triple or quadruple. If you live without A/C, your main power draws will be the water heater, cistern pump, refrigerator, lights, fans, washer/dryer, and whatever electronics your family uses - television, radio, clock, dvd player, computer, video games, kitchen appliances, etc.

Plan on a propane stove and a propane-heated clothes dryer (still uses 110 power to tumble the clothes) and that also helps to keep the costs low. Even when I had 4-5 people living in the house year around, we only use one 100 gallon propane tank per year for the stove and another the same size for the dryer. Now with two of us here some of the time and occasionally the kids coming to visit, we use even less. Propane was about $67 per hundred gallon tank the last time I had them swapped out.

In Washington, I also paid a hefty fee for garbage pick-up, another for municipal water supply, one for sewage capacity charge plus another charge as a penalty for living in a newer neighborhood recently attached to the sewer system, property taxes were at least 4-5 times as much per year as I pay in the USVI, and my vehicle insurance cost 3-4 times as much per year (although that did include collision and comprehensive coverage, which I don't have here). My house payment is about $700 per month lower (again, for a smaller house now that I don't have a houseful of small children needing room to play indoors during months of rainy weather).

Some of the savings gets spent on airline tickets to go back to the cold northlands to visit family. Some has helped my sons with college expenses. Still, I find that my mandatory monthly expenses are much lower than they were in Washington... but my voluntary expenses, such as travel costs for vacations, are higher now that my sons are grown and I have an easier time of getting away for short excursions when my work schedule suddenly allows.

One of the keys to staying financially stable in the islands is to not spend a whole lot more than you really need to on your home. I'm sure that sounds strange coming from a Realtor, but the reality is that you don't need as much indoor living space as you are used to thinking you just have to have where you are coming from. Less space often means less power usage and less maintenance expense, etc., which all save you $$ and it adds up. Use the extra $$ to enjoy and explore... or maybe you won't have to work quite as hard to make ends meet.

I hear from so many buyers who are coming as a single or a couple and they are sure they need 2 or 3 bedrooms in whatever property they purchase even though they don't have children (or plan to) and will only have a rare/occasional guest. Why pay tens of thousands more up front on a purchase and then pay more per month every month for a mortgage on a larger house than you need and then also pay higher maintenance and power costs, as well as spend more of your free time cleaning unused spaces... just to be able to give a free vacation to the occasional visitor whom you'd probably enjoy more if they stayed in a hotel and you got together with them a few evenings during their trip?

So for all of you hoping to be future islanders... Think about it!


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heepajeep
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February 22, 2008 11:39 pm  

Alexandra,
Your philosphy posted above has convinced me to put you on my list of whom to contact when I am in the market for a house. And per my phone interview today, that might be in the near future!

Thank you


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trw
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February 23, 2008 12:01 am  

i agree with alexandra, we don't even go in half of our house,we have one whole side of our house we no longer use so it's closed off,neither of us wants any renters at this point anymore. our new wapa bill was 276.28 for 832kwh, the eventual plan is to turn the closed off side into an entryway and huge kitchen with an eat-in area,but until we have some money built up thats a pipe dream at this point.


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beachy
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February 23, 2008 12:31 am  

alot to be said for small. We've had good visits with friends who we were able to put up in places other than our home....They and we were all more comfortable with a little distance. It gets tough to be the tour director all the time, and once you've done it a few times, it's nice to just select some times or activities to spend with the visitors. If you don't have room you don't appear inhospitable---A different situation for those of us with older children, though. Once you get into the wife/husband/grandkid thing more room is good, in my opinion. Some of us though are in a position at that stage to be more able to afford/pay for the extras ...I keep watching my neighbor as he adds bedrooms and baths onto his guesthouse--it's now got more rooms than his main house but they want the group visits from their children, who keep having children!
Homes here require more maintenance than our stateside home, too. The sun really takes a toll on a home, and the all-year growing season causes alot of work....so less can be more....


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Linda J
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February 23, 2008 5:12 am  

Heepajeep,

1200 sqft occupied house. 2 adults, no kids. No A/C, dishwasher or washer/dryer. 3 ceiling fans run 24/7. We both work fulltime outside the house. All Electric, no propane. Showers, no bathtubs.

We are not particularly careful about our energy consumption. More careful about water - we use a cistern.


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Alexandra
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February 23, 2008 2:40 pm  

heepajeep - I'll be happy to help you explore your housing options when the time is right for you. Best of luck with your job opportunity!


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Cory
 Cory
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February 27, 2008 2:11 am  

Alexandra, that was a great post! How many times have you been "cruise director" hehe

PS Oil per barrel record high today...almost 101 per barrel and expected to last through June at that price...

Expect WAPA to raise rates soon. pfft 🙁


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