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BIR Announces Extension of April 30th Gross Receipts and Hotel Tax Return Deadlines

The April 30th due dates for both the gross receipts tax return and the hotel room tax return will be…

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Half a dozen young people, local artists and music producers have created a peace song for Carnival 2014. To read more about the song, click here.
 

 
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Cruzan Organix Farm Wins Top Prize in 2014 13D Competition

UVI student Allison De Gazon was beaming Wednesday when her business idea, Cruzan Organix Farm, won the $30,000 top prize at the final judging ofthe  2014 13D Entrepreneurship Competition.

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2014-04-24 01:02:33
Cancryn Teachers Protest School Calendar

About a dozen teachers protested outside Addelita Cancryn Junior High School on St. Thomas on Wednesday in the second day of objecting to the restructuring of the school calendar.

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2014-04-24 00:44:04
EPA Honors Three from Virgin Islands with Environmental Quality Awards

Three groups from the Virgin Islands were named Wednesday as the U.S. Environmental Agency’s Environmental Quality Award recipients.

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2014-04-24 00:39:18
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Noor-Low Cost Ways to Save Energy and Money

Turn off all unused lights and appliances. Unplug appliances you seldom use to avoid "phantom" voltage use. Unplug all unused or little used refrigerators and freezers.
Use energy saving compact fluorescent lights (CFL) wherever possible.
Reduce hot water temperature settings to 115°F. Install a timer on the heater to supply hot water only when absolutely essential.
Install solar hot water heaters to save maximum energy
Reduce air conditioning and hot water heater operation when home is unoccupied.
Fix leaky or dripping water faucets— a leak of one drop a second on a hot water faucet can waste as much as 48 gallons of hot water a week
Keep air conditioning filters clean. Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils every few months to improve efficiency.
Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle
Use your microwave instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
Plug home electronics, such as TV's and computer and monitors into power strips /surge protectors and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Don't Waste Your Cold Cash!
Save Energy with These
Refrigeration and Cooling Tips

Refrigerators

The average household refrigerator uses approximately 90w to 600w of electrical energy. The amount of energy used can greatly be reduced by practicing good conservation techniques.
No cost

Adjust the refrigerator temperature settings. Optimum refrigerator range is 37 to 40°F and freezer range is 0 to 5°F. Avoid placing your refrigerator on unreasonably low temperature settings. If the temperature control system does not specify degrees, check the manual for corresponding settings.
Minimize door openings as much as possible. Cool air escapes every time the refrigerator door is opened. The unit then works harder to replace the air. Keep the door open no longer than necessary and be sure to close
the door completely.
Allow hot foods to cool before placing them in the refrigerator. Hot food
decreases the temperature in the refrigerator temporarily forcing the
refrigerator to work harder to keep the air cool.
Keep the refrigerator full. A full refrigerator retains cold better than an
empty one. If the refrigerator is nearly empty, store water-filled
containers inside. The mass of cold items will enable the refrigerator to
recover more quickly after the door has been opened.
Do not overfill your refrigerator or freezer since that will interfere with the circulation of cold air inside.
Turn on your refrigerator's "energy saver" switch. In damp environments make sure that excess condensation does not form on the inside of the unit.
If condensation forms, turn the energy saver switch off.
Keep your refrigerator away from heat sources, such as an oven, a dishwasher and direct sunlight from a window. A 10°F increase in surrounding temperature can result in 20% higher energy consumption.
Check door seals (also called the gasket) on the refrigerator. A broken seal is the same as leaving the door open. Replace seals that are torn or
partially missing. To test it, close the door on a single sheet of paper and
try to pull it out. If it slides out easily, the gasket needs to be replaced
to prevent cold air from leaking out, or consider buying a new unit.
Avoid blocking the air flow passages to and from the condenser coils.
Cleaning the condenser coils will save energy and help the refrigerator run
better and more efficiently. The condenser coils ( hot coils ) should be cleaned once a year. If you have a pet with long hair, it is a good idea to clean coils every 6 months.
Regularly defrost manual-defrost models. Frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running. Avoid excessive ice build-up on the interior surfaces of the evaporator.
Turn off and recycle your second refrigerator. Many of these secondary units (usually older and less energy efficient) use as much as 40% more energy than a new model.
Low-Medium Cost

Refrigerators with anti-sweat heaters (which prevent condensation) consume 5 to 10% more energy. Buy models with an "energy saver" switch that lets you turn the heaters down or off.
Refrigerators under 25 cubic feet will meet the needs of most households. The models over 25 cubic feet use significantly more energy. If you are thinking about purchasing such a large unit, you may want to reconsider.
Buy ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator models only. They use high efficiency compressors, improved insulation, and more precise temperature and defrost mechanisms to improve energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator models use at least 15 percent less energy than required by current federal standards and 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.
Air Conditioning
Set the thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower the overall cooling bill will be. Between1 and 2% of cooling costs can be saved for every degree Fahrenheit the thermostat is raised.
Close drapes, blinds and shades to keep sun's rays out of the home during the warmer months.
Look for a room air conditioner with a filter that slides out easily for
monthly cleaning. Clean filters help keep the unit in good working condition.
Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner.
When buying an air conditioner, enlist the services of a qualified
technician to ensure your unit is properly sized and installed for your
home/building. A unit that is too large will not only cost you more up
front, but will actually work less efficiently, costing you more to operate
over its lifetime.
Consider a room air conditioner unit that features controls, such as a
digital readout for the thermostat setting and a built-in timer to help you
adjust the unit to use less energy.
Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat away from natural cool and
hot spots. An ENERGY STAR thermotat can save as much as $115 per year,
provide more flexibility than standard models and perform one or more of the
following functions: Save and repeat multiple daily settings, which you can
change when needed without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly
program; store four or more temperature setting a day; and adjust air
conditioning turn-on times as the outside temperature changes.
Consider installing a whole house fan. Use it when the air is cool outside,
such as in the early morning. Whole house fans typically use about one-third
of the electricity of a central air conditioner.
If your room air conditioner unit is more than 10 years old, consider
replacing it with an ENERGY STAR room air conditioner, which uses at least
10% less energy than a standard new model. Select the unit with the highest
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for greater savings. Ask a trained salesperson
for help choosing the size that's right for your needs.
Consider planting trees and shrubs in strategic locations to help reduce the
temperature and airflow in your house. Deciduous trees planted on the west
and south sides of your home help to keep the house shaded during hotter
weather..
Install an ENERGY STAR ceiling fan with light kit, which is about 40% more
efficient than a standard ceiling fan/light combination. Because ceiling
fans cause air movement that can make a room feel cooler by four degrees or
more, you may be able to save on the cost of running an air conditioner.
Shed Some Light On The Subject—Make Cost Savings A Reality!

Increasing your lighting efficiency in home or business is one of the fastest ways to decrease your energy bills. Read on for no-cost and low-cost ideas!
No Cost

Turn OFF unneeded lights. Avoid lighting an empty room.
Take advantage of natural light whenever possible. It is a myth that leaving lights on uses less energy than turning them off.
Adjust curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible
Turn off signage and other lights not necessary for security and safety.
Remove unneeded light bulbs. Disconnect or remove lamps in multiple lamp fixtures.
Use task lighting instead of brightly lighting an entire room. Focus the light where you need it.
Keep light fixtures clean and dust free to eliminate hazy light. Dust, grease, and other dirt accumulations on lamps, lenses, globes and reflecting surfaces of the fixture can reduce light output by as much as 30%. You may find that you need fewer lamps or lower wattage bulbs.
Low Cost

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) use at least 66% less energy and last 6-10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
Install ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in all fixtures especially those you use most frequently. If you replace at least 25% of your lights in high-use areas with CFL's, you can save about 50% of your lighting energy bill.
To save the most energy and money, replace your highest used fixtures or the light bulbs in them with energy-efficient models. The 5 highest use fixtures in a home are typically the kitchen ceiling light, the living room table and floor lamps, bathroom vanity, and outdoor porch or post lamp.
Replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient CFL's and use 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for your workroom, garage and laundry room areas. Use 60% to 80% less energy by replacing torchiere fixtures using halogen lamps with more efficient compact fluorescent torchieres.
Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary.
Install task lighting. For example, use fluorescent lights under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops. Use reading lamps for close-up work instead of ceiling lights.
Buy fixtures that have a dimmer, which allow you to manually adjust the intensity of light in a room. Because most lights use less electricity at lower settings, you do not need to pay for more light than you need. Dimmers can be used with screw-based dimmable fluorescent bulbs.
Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a timer so they will turn off during the day.
Install inexpensive solar-powered garden lights to light driveways and foot paths
Save Up To 50% on Energy Costs in the
Kitchen and Laundry Room
IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM
NO COST

Wash in cold water. Today's laundry detergents are made to clean clothes in cold water. The majority of energy used for washing clothes comes from heating water. Use hot water only for very dirty clothes and always use cold water for rinsing. Save 4%.
Wash full loads. It takes approximately the same amount of energy to wash a
small load as it does a full load. Sort and organize your laundry for full
loads, saving both energy and water.
Don't overload the washer and dryer. Your clothes may not get clean and may
need to be washed again. Overloading dryers uses excess energy because items
take longer to dry. Always use a surge protector on your appliances.
Line-dry clothes whenever possible. This can save up to 5% of your energy costs.
Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. The efficiency of
the dryer goes down when lint collects over the dryer filter. Run full loads
and use the moisture-sensing setting. Save 5% on your electric bill.
Dry similar types of fabrics together. For example, put towels together in
one load. A lower dryer temperature may be used for certain clothes. See the
owner's manual for more information.
Presoak or use the soak cycle when washing heavily soiled garments. You will
avoid two washings and save energy.
Keep the clothes dryer's outside exhaust clean. A clogged exhaust lengthens
drying time and increases energy use.
Low-Mid Cost

When shopping for energy-efficient appliances, don't be misled by labels such as "Energy Miser," "Energy Saver" and "Fuel Saver." The best way to determine energy efficiency of appliances is to compare information provided by Energy Guide labels.
Choose the right size clothes washer for your needs. ENERGY STAR clothes washers are available in many sizes, ranging in capacity from 1.6 to 3.8 cubic feet. an ENERGY STAR clothes washer uses 50% less energy and 40% less water per load than a conventional machine. Save as much as $100 annually.
Select an ENERGY STAR clothes washer that allows control of the water level and temperature. Look for energy-saving features like pre-soak, "suds saver" and cold water settings.
Choose a front loading "horizontal axis" ENERGY STAR clothes washer. This model cuts water use by 33 to 40%, using 20 to 25 gallons per full load. A ypical top-loading washer uses about 40 gallons of water per full load.
Choose a clothes washer with a "mini-basket." A mini-basket is a small tub that fits over the agitator, allowing you to wash very small loads.
Select a gas clothes dryer if possible. Gas dryers cost on average 15 to 20 cents per load to operate, while electric dryers cost on average 30 to 40 cents per load.
Look for clothes dryer with a moisture sensor in the drum instead of a temperature sensor near the exhaust. This model is more accurate in sensing the drying time needed for clothes and will prevent over-drying.
Install high-efficiency commercial washers in your home, including but not limited to front-loading machines, which can cut energy costs up to 50% and use about 30% less water (18 to 25 gallons of water per load, compared to 40 galloused by a standard machine). Energy-efficient and front-loading commercial clothes washers also last five to 10 years longer than standard, top-loading machines.
In The Kitchen

No Cost

Reduce hot water temperature in dishwasher. Set the water heater to the "normal" setting or 120°F, unless the owner's manual for the dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7 to 11% of water heating costs.
If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, use it instead of the heat-dry setting. You will cut the dishwasher's energy use 15 to 50%. If there is no air-dry setting, turn the dishwasher off after its final rinse and open the door. The dishes will dry without using extra electricity.
Run your dishwasher after 7 p.m. Wash only full loads and use the shortest possible cycle.
Run the dishwasher only when fully loaded. If necessary, scrape dirty dishes (with cold rather than hot water) and store them in the dishwasher until you have a full load.
Load dishes in their proper locations to ensure maximum cleaning efficiency. See the dishwasher owner's manual for instructions on proper loading.
Check and clean the dishwasher drain as necessary. Solid pieces of food waste can build up over the dishwasher drain and cause the dishwasher to work harder.
Avoid using the "rinse hold" setting on your dishwasher. "Rinse hold" uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use, and heating water takes extra energy. Never use "rinse hold" for just a few dirty dishes.
Low to Mid Cost

Buy an ENERGY STAR dishwasher with energy-saving settings, such as partial load setting (which uses less hot water) and energy-efficient drying cycles.
Choose the right size dishwasher for your home. Standard capacity models hold more than eight place settings and six serving pieces.
Choose a dishwasher that gives you the option of air-drying the dishes, instead of heat-drying, which consumes more energy.
Use a surge protector on all appliances and disconnect the appliances from the power strip when not in use. For instance, the microwave clock, if not needed, will reduce "phantom" electricity costs.
Cooking

No Cost

Cook during cooler hours. Avoid preparing meals that require you to use the range or oven extensively on hot days. This helps to reduce the load on your air conditioner and makes you feel more comfortable in your home.
Cook with a full oven. Prepare dishes together when possible. If you have three dishes to be cooked in the oven at slightly different temperatures (325°F, 350°F and 375°F, for example), pick the average temperature (350°F in this case) to cook all three.
Don't peek. Every time you open the oven door to look at the food, the oven temperature is lowered by 25°F to 75°F. Use a timer if the oven door does not have a window.
Use cooking time wisely. Turn off the electric range two to three minutes before the task is done and allow the residual heat to finish the job.
Use leftover heat as a food warmer. Turn off oven immediately when finished cooking. Ovens retain heat for up to 30 minutes after they have been turned off.
Use the self-cleaning oven feature only when necessary. Start the self-cleaning cycle immediately after the oven has been used to take advantage of preexisting heat.
Use pots and pans that fit the burners. Pans that fit a burner absorb more of the energy, reducing the amount of heat that is lost.
Keep oven and burners clean and kitchen ventilated. A clean oven uses energy more efficiently.
Use the broiler when possible. The broiler uses less energy, and preheating is not required.
Use microwave ovens to save energy. Microwave ovens are about 33% more efficient than convection ovens and 66% more efficient than conventional ovens.
Double your recipe - and freeze half for later. Reheating uses less energy.
Low To Mid Cost

Select ovens with windows. This allows you to check food without opening the door. Look for self-cleaning features (ensures additional insulation) and electronic or programmable models with timers (for a more precise use of cooking energy).
Use convection units in combination with conventional ovens. This combination cooks faster at lower temperatures.
Select a self-cleaning oven. It's better insulated than other models, so they are more energy-efficient when used appropriately.
Electric ranges containing ceramic, halogen or induction range elements are more efficient than the type containing electric coils. They are also easier to clean and allow for greater temperature control.
Don't Waste Your Cold Cash!
Save Energy With These
Air Conditioning And Cooling Tips

If you have air conditioning—either central air or window air conditioners—up to 20% of your electric bill may be going towards cooling your home or business. Reducing the amount of heat in your home or business and managing your air conditioning use will lower those costs.
No Cost

Close drapes, blinds and shades to keep sun's rays out of the home during the warmer periods of the day
Don't use appliances that cause heat when it is hot outside. Use the oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer in the evening when the demand is lower
Reduce the amount of cooking you do inside on hot days. Cook outside on the grill when possible.
Control humidity. Dry air is easier to cool than humid air. Use the bathroom exhaust fan to remove excess humidity when showering.
On cooler days, use a fan to remove heat from your home. Ceiling fans used in conjunction with your air conditioner will allow you to raise your thermostat setting by as much as 4 degrees without reducing your comfort. If your ceiling fan is reversible, set the rotation of the fan to pull the warm air up to the ceiling.
Set the thermostat on your air conditioner as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower the overall cooling bill will be. Between 1 and 2% of cooling costs can be saved for every degree farenheit the thermostat is raised.
Save as much as 10% a year on your cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for 8 hours. Use the automatic setback or programmable thermostat on your air conditioner
Do not place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Clean filters help keep the air conditioning unit in good working condition. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner.
.
Low To Mid Cost

Consider installing a whole house fan. Use it when the air is cool outside,
such as in the early morning. Whole house fans typically use about one-third
of the electricity of a central air conditioner.
Install an ENERGY STAR ceiling fan with light kit, which is about 40% more efficient than a standard ceiling fan/light combination. Because ceiling
fans cause air movement that can make a room feel cooler by four degrees or more, you may be able to save on the cost of running an air conditioner.
Consider planting trees and shrubs in strategic locations to help reduce the temperature and airflow in your house. Deciduous trees planted on the west and south sides of your home help to keep the house shaded during hotter weather.
It might surprise you to know that buying a bigger room air-conditioning unit won't necessarily make you feel more comfortable. A room air conditioner that's too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. Room units work better if they run for relatively long periods of time than if they are continually switching off and on. Longer run times allow air conditioners to maintain a more constant room temperature.
If your room air conditioner unit is more than 10 years old, consider
replacing it with an ENERGY STAR room air conditioner,
which uses at least 10% less energy than a standard new model. Select the unit with the highest Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for greater savings. Ask a trained salesperson for help choosing the size that's right for your needs.
When buying a room or central air conditioner, enlist the services of a qualified technician to ensure your unit is properly sized and installed for your home/building. A unit that is too large will not only cost you more up front, but will actually work less efficiently, costing you more to operate
over its lifetime.
Consider a room air conditioner unit that features controls, such as a
digital readout for the thermostat setting
and a built-in timer to help you
adjust the unit to use less energy. Look for a room air conditioner with a filter that slides out easily for monthly cleaning.
Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat away from natural cool and hot spots. An ENERGY STAR thermostat can save as much as $115 per year.
Remember to use a surge protector on your air conditioner and all other appliances and electronic equipment.
Hot air seeps in all around the house. Caulk and install weather stripping around windows and doors to keep hot air out and cooling costs down.

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