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Press Release Details

WAPA Extends Installment Plan For Sixty-Day Bill To All Customers; Customers No Longer Required To Visit WAPA Offices To Sign Up For Installment Payment Plan

Mar 17, 2020

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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority
Corporate Communications
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jean P. Greaux, Jr., Director of Corporate Communications
340-774-3552 extension 2147 or 340-244-7330
communications@viwapa.vi / www.viwapa.vi

 

March 17, 2020

WAPA EXTENDS INSTALLMENT PLAN FOR SIXTY-DAY BILL
TO ALL CUSTOMERS;
CUSTOMERS NO LONGER REQUIRED TO VISIT WAPA OFFICES

 TO SIGN UP FOR INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN


            While the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has offered an installment plan to all customers whose March utility bill covers an approximate sixty-day service period, a slight modification to the plan makes it more convenient to establish the payment plan, and make the installment payments over the next three months.

           Although the Authority would prefer for customers to pay the entire sixty-day bill when due, in consideration to our customers, both residents and businesses, WAPA will automatically enroll customers in the installment payment plan once the one-half bill payment is made in March. The customer will then be obligated, per the terms of the plan, to make the remaining balance in equal installments, along with their regular monthly bills, in April, May, and June, respectively.

         Chief Financial Officer Debra Gottlieb explained, as an example, a customer who receives a March bill for $600 must pay ½ of the bill total, or $300, by the March due date. The customer will then exercise the installment plan and pay $100 per month for the next three months to satisfy the remaining $300 balance. In addition to the installment payment, the customer is required to pay their regular bills that will be issued in April, May, and June. Utilizing this payment plan, by the July billing period, the balance of the March sixty-day bill will have been paid off.

         If a customer does not make the first ½ payment of the March bill by the due date, the account is subject to disconnection. Payment of the delinquent amount and a reconnection fee will be required for service to be reestablished. Installment payment plans will not be extended to customers who fail to make payment on their March bill. Similarly, if customers fail to pay their regular bills plus the installment amounts in April, May, and June, their accounts will also be subject to disconnection of service.      

        Customers enrolled in Autopay are reminded that unless they arrange with a customer service representative before the bill due date to enter into an installment plan, the Autopay service will debit the full amount of the March bill on its due date.

        The sixty-day bill was issued to allow the Authority to capture lost billing days and cycles. “These bills are issued for services that have long been provided but unbilled. The Authority must normalize its billing functions and collect approximately $23 million in unbilled revenue. This is a step in that direction,” Gottlieb said.

         Additionally, the automatic engagement of the payment plan for all customers is a means of limiting the number of customers required to visit the Authority’s customer service offices.

        Since Monday, WAPA has offered only limited service at Customer Service offices territory wide. The Authority is encouraging online and telephonic business transactions. Cashiers remain available for limited payment transactions. Limiting the interaction of our customer service representatives with the public is one of many steps the Authority has taken in an abundance of caution of the coronavirus and its uncertainty.

 

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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is an autonomous agency of the Virgin Islands Government which produces and distributes electricity and drinking water to residential and commercial customers in the territory. WAPA was created by the Fifth Legislature of the Virgin Islands in 1964 through Act No. 1248. Today, WAPA generates electrical power at production plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix and distributes electrical service through smart grids to customers on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Hassel Island, and Water Island. Potable water is distributed to almost 13,000 customers through water lines and standpipes. WAPA also has the responsibility of installing and maintaining streetlights.