Public outcry and confusion have caused the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) to issue several statements outlining what the base rate increase would mean for its customers and the authority. Residents in St. Thomas are set to publicly protest rate hikes on July 31st after a petition began circulating weeks ago opposing the measure.
WAPA has detailed in a number of releases why they may need to alter their rates. The authority is now saying that customers will not be directly impacted by the rate increase, which will be used to cover the costs of operations such as insurance, debt service, payroll, routine maintenance, and power plant improvements. WAPA also noted that it will be decreasing the fuel surcharge known commonly as LEAC which will keep the current 43 cents per kilowatt-hour charge for residential customers.
The St. Thomas – St. John Chamber of Commerce is expected to release a statement later today that could add some more clarity on the proposed rate change. Since the Chamber is preparing to add more context to better inform residents, we’ve included WAPA’s most recent message (July 29th, 2019) to customers below and opted to cease reporting on new rate increases until the Chamber provides more context on WAPA’s petition. You can read WAPA’s statement to customers below:
Editor’s note: the original version of this story stated that the Public Service Commission was expected to release a statement about WAPA’s rate increase. The error was fixed noting that the St. Thomas – St. John Chamber of Commerce was expected to release a statement.