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WAPA Files Petition With Public Services Commission For July-December 2020 LEAC Rate; Utility Seeks To Maintain Current Rates As It Assesses Effect Of COVID-19 On Territory And On Commodity Prices

Apr 08, 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

 

April 8, 2020

WAPA FILES PETITION WITH PUBLIC SERVICES COMMISSION FOR JULY-DECEMBER 2020 LEAC RATE;

UTILITY SEEKS TO MAINTAIN CURRENT RATES AS IT ASSESSES EFFECT OF COVID-19 ON TERRITORY AND ON COMMODITY PRICES

      Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Lawrence J. Kupfer said Wednesday that the great deal of uncertainty as it relates to the impact of COVID-19 on the Virgin Islands, and on worldwide commodity prices, has led WAPA to file a request with the Pubic Services Commission to retain the current  LEAC rate for the period July – December 2020.

       Against the backdrop of peak load reductions on the order of 6-8%, Kupfer said, WAPA erred on the side of caution in the April 1 filing with the Public Services Commission and recommended maintaining the status quo rate of 43 cents per kilowatt hour.

      In public comments, and in a letter to WAPA, Senator Alicia Barnes this week suggested the Authority pursue a much lower LEAC rate given recent reductions in global oil prices. In a  letter to the senator today, Kupfer wrote, “The time frame for the implementation of a new LEAC is approximately three months in the future, and there is no one that can predict what will be in store for the territory in July 2020, or the commodity prices that will be in effect at that time, and over the six-month LEAC period through the end of this year.”

      He said when the PSC holds hearings on WAPA’s LEAC filing in June, both the utility and the commission will be in a much better position to understand the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to the LEAC period July-December 2020. “It is also hoped that WAPA will be able to put a LEAC reduction in place.”

      Kupfer said in the meantime, WAPA will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the Authority.

 

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About WAPA: 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.