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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesELECTRIC BILLS DON’T HAVE TO GO UP

ELECTRIC BILLS DON’T HAVE TO GO UP

The Water And Power Authority recently raised its rates for electricity, citing an increase in the price of oil. What can the poor consumer do? A lot of little things that can make a big difference, says Victor Somme III, director of the V.I. Energy Office.
In the big picture, Somme says, the territory and its inhabitants should be taking greater advantage of the natural energy sources — sun, wind and sea — that surround the islands, to "maximize these elements for the production of alternative energy sources instead of fossil fuels."
But there are other, easier things that just about everybody, here and now, can do to cut back on the consumption of electricity — and reduce their electric bills. Somme cited these in a press release:
– Utilize sunlight instead of electric lights when possible.
– Turn off lights when they are not needed.
– Use motion sensors or timers to turn lights off and on.
– Use energy-saving outdoor floodlights.
– Use compact fluorescent, as opposed to traditional incandescent, light bulbs. (They are more expensive but last far longer and use less power so are definitely a better "deal.")
– Replace worn rubber gaskets around refrigerator doors.
– Put timers on water heaters.
Some other energy-saving options not mentioned in the press release are:
– Use a warm, rather than hot, water setting for washing laundry.
– Hang laundry to dry in the open air, rather than using a dryer.
– Utilize ceiling fans and natural ventilation whenever practical in place of air-conditioning.
– Clean or replace a/c unit filters each month.
– Cover louvered windows with plastic in rooms where air-conditioning is used.
– Run a/c units on the least-cold settings that are comfortable, and don’t turn the setting to "coldest" when starting up a unit (it won’t cool down the room any faster).
– Set refrigerators to a temperature of 38 to 42 degrees F. and freezers to 0 to 5 degrees (if they’re colder, they’re wasting electricity).
– Clean the condenser coils on the back or bottom of the fridge once a year or any time they are coated with dust.
– Keep fridges and freezers as well filled as possible, and open their doors as infrequently as possible.
– Put insulation jackets on water heater tanks.
– Drain about two quarts of water from the valve faucet at the bottom of a water tank every other month to prevent the accumulation of sediment.
(Most of these tips and many others can be found in two thin, easy-to-read books available at bookstores, 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth and 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth.)
Somme also offered these tips for consumers to cut down on the consumption of water in their homes:
– Use low-flow shower heads.
– Use aerators on kitchen and bathroom sink faucets.
– Fix leaks in pipes and plumbing fixtures promptly.

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The Water And Power Authority recently raised its rates for electricity, citing an increase in the price of oil. What can the poor consumer do? A lot of little things that can make a big difference, says Victor Somme III, director of the V.I. Energy Office.
In the big picture, Somme says, the territory and its inhabitants should be taking greater advantage of the natural energy sources -- sun, wind and sea -- that surround the islands, to "maximize these elements for the production of alternative energy sources instead of fossil fuels."
But there are other, easier things that just about everybody, here and now, can do to cut back on the consumption of electricity -- and reduce their electric bills. Somme cited these in a press release:
- Utilize sunlight instead of electric lights when possible.
- Turn off lights when they are not needed.
- Use motion sensors or timers to turn lights off and on.
- Use energy-saving outdoor floodlights.
- Use compact fluorescent, as opposed to traditional incandescent, light bulbs. (They are more expensive but last far longer and use less power so are definitely a better "deal.")
- Replace worn rubber gaskets around refrigerator doors.
- Put timers on water heaters.
Some other energy-saving options not mentioned in the press release are:
- Use a warm, rather than hot, water setting for washing laundry.
- Hang laundry to dry in the open air, rather than using a dryer.
- Utilize ceiling fans and natural ventilation whenever practical in place of air-conditioning.
- Clean or replace a/c unit filters each month.
- Cover louvered windows with plastic in rooms where air-conditioning is used.
- Run a/c units on the least-cold settings that are comfortable, and don’t turn the setting to "coldest" when starting up a unit (it won’t cool down the room any faster).
- Set refrigerators to a temperature of 38 to 42 degrees F. and freezers to 0 to 5 degrees (if they’re colder, they’re wasting electricity).
- Clean the condenser coils on the back or bottom of the fridge once a year or any time they are coated with dust.
- Keep fridges and freezers as well filled as possible, and open their doors as infrequently as possible.
- Put insulation jackets on water heater tanks.
- Drain about two quarts of water from the valve faucet at the bottom of a water tank every other month to prevent the accumulation of sediment.
(Most of these tips and many others can be found in two thin, easy-to-read books available at bookstores, 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth and 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth.)
Somme also offered these tips for consumers to cut down on the consumption of water in their homes:
- Use low-flow shower heads.
- Use aerators on kitchen and bathroom sink faucets.
- Fix leaks in pipes and plumbing fixtures promptly.