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WAPA Announces Rate Decrease for January 1, 2015

(Wednesday, December 17, 2014)


The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) announces a rate decrease for the first six months of 2015. The new rate will be 39.19 cents per kilowatt hour, down from the current rate of 48.6 cents per kilowatt hour. The lower charge is due, in part, to WAPA’s ongoing propane conversion project, which will begin utilizing the more affordable fuel in the first quarter of 2015, as well as the reduction worldwide in fuel oil prices.

Since signing the initial contract in July 2013, WAPA and its partner and supplier for the project, Vitol, have implemented an aggressive schedule to deliver the benefits of the fuel switch to the Territory and its residents as swiftly as possible. WAPA plans to use propane as its primary fuel source by the Spring of 2015, which will mean a 20% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a 30% reduction in the cost of fuel. These fuel cost savings will directly lead to significantly lower power bills for WAPA customers, as we are already seeing with today’s announcement.

Commenting on the rate decrease WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge Jr. said, “We are pleased to pass along these initial cost savings to our customers and look forward to further rate decreases as our propane conversion project becomes fully implemented. Delivering affordable and reliable power to our customers throughout the Territory remains our top priority and this rate reduction exemplifies why WAPA has spearheaded the fuel switch project.”

“This is only the beginning,” Hodge went on to say, “and on behalf of the Authority, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All.”


Rates are approved by the Public Services Commission of the Virgin Islands


Other benefits of WAPA’s switch to propane include:


  • Propane is the best near-term option for lowering power generation costs. WAPA customers will realize savings in the fuel cost component of their bills, commonly known as the LEAC.
  • As expenditures on electricity drop, many households will have more disposable income to partake in other economic activity.
  • Propane will help improve the quality of indoor and outdoor air as it produces less soot and NOX than diesel or oil.
  • The use of propane is an excellent complement to renewable sources of power like wind and solar. Developing the ability to use propane is consistent with the USVI Energy Road Map initiative and WAPA’s Energy Action Plan. 
  • The project has been carefully planned to ensure that employee and public health and safety are protected with world class systems and technology.
  • Propane will be stored on-site at the power plants in St. Thomas and St. Croix in buried tanks with 100% redundant safety mechanisms.