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WAPA Governing Board Message to Ratepayers



The Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) acknowledges the concerns of its ratepayers about the high cost of electric power and water over the past months resulting from the sharp increase in the cost of fuel the Authority must purchase from HOVENSA. This cost which is reflected from the world price of crude oil is slightly lower to us because of a government negotiated agreement with HOVENSA. Fuel however, accounts for almost 60% of WAPA's operating budget. For WAPA and the consumer, these increases have come at the worst possible time for they often offset savings that the Authority can realize while implementing measures that will lower the cost of service to our consumers.
Being aware of the global political situations that drive the price of oil and the increased demands of emerging nations, it can no longer be expected that there will be any significant drop in oil prices to where they were two years ago—not in the foreseeable future. The Authority implements costs saving measures daily to economize our use of fuel and is vigorously working to minimize the obstacles which prevent progress in our pursuit of alternative and renewable energy sources.
Some of the measures that we have taken which are aimed at a future reduction in our cost of service are as follows:
1. Recent bond issues have allowed funding of improvements to make service more reliable and affordable including undergrounding of electrical service to Frederiksted town on St. Croix; installation of St. Thomas' feeder # 13 to the east end to complete a transmission loop; and construction of an electrical substation on St. John.
2. Purchase of a new frame 6 GE turbine to provide for more efficient and reliable service in the St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island district where there is the most growth and expansion of our economy. St. Croix has excess capacity at this time.
3. WAPA is presently pursuing the purchase of another Waste Heat Recovery Boiler for St. Croix which will allow us to greatly conserve our fuel consumption.
4. We have retrofitted St. Croix units #10, #11, fuel tank #5 and the waste heat recovery boiler and also unit #11 on St. Thomas in order to make them more efficient and reliable.
5. We have initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) and held preliminary meetings with a number of companies interested in selling cheaper power and desalinated water to WAPA. The selection process is subject to the approval of the Public Services Commission. We are also undertaking integrated resources planning (IRP) which will consider the possibilities of combining several alternative or renewable energy resources in order to offer the most cost effective and consistent service to ratepayers. On the demand side, we will be recommending initiiatves encouraging substitution of renewable and energy efficient appliances for the electrical energy-intensive appliances we all normally use.
6. We are diligently working on our electric line losses, theft of services, and illegal hookups, to rid our system of those who prey on our ratepayers through free consumption. We are also taking more aggressive measures to decrease account receivables.
7. We are analyzing our meters to provide accuracy in reading and to prevent billing errors that might occur. We have installed automated meter reading systems on large consumption water meters and are evaluating a new automated electric metering system that will provide the most accurate information possible to our billing department.
8. We have recently completed an independent study of our operation (a plant condition assessment) which confirms the soundness of our generation systems. We are taking a closer look at our transmission and distribution facilities in an effort to upgrade maintenance in our outside plant.
The Governing Board is confident that the measures the Authority has undertaken and others in the future will result in a much reduced cost of service to our consumers. In the meantime, we strongly recommend strict attention to usage of potable water and power in Virgin Islands homes and businesses and the use of energy efficient appliances and equipment. The Authority can provide assistance in assessing the reasons for high energy consumption in homes and small businesses to help lower your cost through our cooperative Energy Audit program with the V.I. Energy Office. Consumers can contact our customer service offices for more
While we continue to struggle with high government receivables, we are moving as swiftly as we can to overcome this most difficult period in the history of the Authority and the international community. Your support is appreciated.
Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority
Governing Board

Daryl "Mickey" Lynch, Chairman
Cheryl Boynes Jackson, Vice Chairman
Yolander Samuel-Deterville, CPA, Secretary
Alphonso Franklin, Chairman, Planning and Economic Development Committee
Claude "Tappy" Molloy, Chairman, Finance and Audit Committee
Roy Anduze, Jr., Esq., Board Member
Ira Hobson, Board Member
Andrew Rutnik, Board Member



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