Press Release Details

Lower Electrical Rates Take Effect On July 1

Jun 08, 2020


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

June 8, 2020



      The Virgin Islands Public Services Commission has approved a reduction in electric rates which represents an approximate 1.5 cent drop in the per kilowatt hour rate for both residential and commercial customers. The rate reduction was proposed by the commission’s consultants and accepted by WAPA prior to a June 3 meeting of the PSC.

      “Effective with the July billing, a residential customer utilizing 400 kilowatt hours per month will see a bill totaling approximately $159 while a commercial customer’s bill for usage of 2,000 kilowatt hours will average $900,” said Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer.

      Based on the approval, the per kilowatt rate for residential customers using less than 250 kilowatt hours per month is 39 cents, and the rate is at 41 cents for consumption equal to and greater than 251 kilowatt hours. Commercial customers will pay a rate of 45 cents per kilowatt hour. The lower per kilowatt hour rate will be reflected on customer’s July bills, and remain in place thru December 2020.

      “We are mindful of the economic challenges facing residents of the territory and support this decrease in rates. Additionally, our generation dispatch is utilizing more LPG as the primary fuel for power generation. During the six-month period that the rate will be in effect, we anticipate the Harley power plant on St. Thomas will become 100% operational on propane similar to the Richmond power plant on St. Croix. Our operational costs have improved as we have utilized more propane although the price spread between oil and propane on world markets is not as large as it has been historically,” Kupfer added.

      Kupfer noted that the new rate does not include deferred fuel costs and cautioned the PSC that future filings for LEAC adjustments will include a deferred fuel amount. The Authority, he said, will also file a deferred fuel reconciliation with the commission once Fiscal Year 2018 audited statements are completed.

      Also, Kupfer said, WAPA has concluded its May billing cycle and issued a total of 51,828 Yes Cares Act credits to customers. “In all, the Authority issued 7,671 credits to commercial account holders, and 44,157 credits to residential customers. The credits total $14.8 million.”

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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.