April 27, 2005 Consumers should see a hike in their electric and water bills next month.
In a release issued Wednesday, WAPA announced that it has notified the Public Services Commission that the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause would be increased May 1.
The PSC, in August of last year, had authorized the utility to automatically adjust the LEAC when the price of fuel is $1.75 above or below the forecasted price for a given month. The LEAC is a surcharge added to the consumers' utility bills to help WAPA recoup its fuel costs.
The new LEAC factor is $0.146 per kilowatt-hour. This translates to a 3.7 percent or $4.23 increase for residential customers using an average of 500 kilowatt hours per month.
Commercial customers using an average 1,200 kilowatt hour per month will observe a 3.3 percent increase or $10.16. Larger commercial customers will see an increase of $254.01 or 4 percent, the release stated.
Water consumers will also notice an increase in their LEAC. Residential customers using an average of 2,400 gallons of water per month will see an increase of 0.05 percent or 1 cent.
Alberto Bruno-Vega, WAPA executive director, said the forecasted prices of fuel for the month of April were $46.05 per barrel of No. 6 oil and $47.68 per barrel of No. 2 oil. However, the actual delivered prices for April were $48.55 per barrel of No. 6 oil on St. Thomas, $50.55 per barrel of No. 6 oil on St. Croix, and $53.22 per barrel of No. 2 oil on both islands. Bruno-Vega said the difference in price for the No. 6 oil between the two islands was due to the grade of fuel.
Bruno-Vega added, "[The delivered prices] exceeded the forecast prices by more than $1.75 per barrel, which triggered the increase."
The last LEAC increase occurred in January, when residential and commercial customers realized an increase of 1.78 percent and 1.59 percent respectively. All customers realized a 1 percent reduction in their LEAC in March.
Bruno-Vega reminded customers to conserve energy in their homes and business because of the daily fluctuations in the price of fuel.
The release stated, "Turning off lights and hot water heaters and electronic equipment when not in use will help lower energy costs."
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