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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 15, 2022
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WAPA, Are We Having Fun Yet?

Dear Source:
Dear WAPA: I'm a struggling small business owner just trying to keep my head above water. No money for vacations, time-outs, health insurance or anything else. A good day for me is when I can pick up a six-pack of cheap underwear at KMart without breaking the bank. I've tried to be a good "green" customer and have replaced all my light bulbs with the good t'ings, I have replaced my toilets with the low-flush models and do everything in my power to reduce my energy costs to the nth degree. Notwithstanding all my efforts, my WAPA bill continues to rise as my kilowatt usage declines.
As the price of oil continued to rise you of course had to raise your rates and this I understand even though you should have been looking to alternative energy over 20 years ago. In the last week you subjected us to revolving power outages because something went wrong with one of your boilers.
Our astute Governor has finally found funding to pay the government's massive outstanding WAPA bill. I hope there is also a caveat they keep up with current billings and also cut down on the government offices' proclivity for maintaining a 74 degree temperature.
Right in the middle of close-up tonight, the power went off in Smith Bay for five minutes. That might not seem to be that big of a deal but every unexpected outage affects all my equipment. As many surge protectors as I install, my refrigerators, freezers, coolers and microwave ovens have a very hard time dealing with these continual outages and surges. This equipment already has built-in obsolescence but the inconsistency of the power from WAPA significantly magnifies that obsolescence.
I continue to hope (I'm basically an incurable optimist and of course "hope springs eternal") that the WAPA Board of Directors looks outside the box for knowledgeable experts to join the quorum. Much taxpayer monies have been spent on investigating alternative energy sources. How many dollars were spent on investigating windmill power when all the average layman had to do was to go the internet and learn about it (which I did) and realize that there are a whole bunch of companies out there looking to ditch obsolete and ineffective windmills very cheaply to unknowledgeable customers?
The US Virgin Islands have everything that nature provides to enable the territory to get off the main grid of oil. As long as the populace continues to elect to office a predominance of self-serving politicians who resent intelligent input from outsiders but jumps at a monetary kickback and baulks when no kickback is offered, the outcome is obvious.
So, you lovely WAPA people, what's the scoop? Hopefully there's a bright spark in charge who has the ability to look beyond tunnel vision?
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.

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Dear Source:
Dear WAPA: I'm a struggling small business owner just trying to keep my head above water. No money for vacations, time-outs, health insurance or anything else. A good day for me is when I can pick up a six-pack of cheap underwear at KMart without breaking the bank. I've tried to be a good "green" customer and have replaced all my light bulbs with the good t'ings, I have replaced my toilets with the low-flush models and do everything in my power to reduce my energy costs to the nth degree. Notwithstanding all my efforts, my WAPA bill continues to rise as my kilowatt usage declines.
As the price of oil continued to rise you of course had to raise your rates and this I understand even though you should have been looking to alternative energy over 20 years ago. In the last week you subjected us to revolving power outages because something went wrong with one of your boilers.
Our astute Governor has finally found funding to pay the government's massive outstanding WAPA bill. I hope there is also a caveat they keep up with current billings and also cut down on the government offices' proclivity for maintaining a 74 degree temperature.
Right in the middle of close-up tonight, the power went off in Smith Bay for five minutes. That might not seem to be that big of a deal but every unexpected outage affects all my equipment. As many surge protectors as I install, my refrigerators, freezers, coolers and microwave ovens have a very hard time dealing with these continual outages and surges. This equipment already has built-in obsolescence but the inconsistency of the power from WAPA significantly magnifies that obsolescence.
I continue to hope (I'm basically an incurable optimist and of course "hope springs eternal") that the WAPA Board of Directors looks outside the box for knowledgeable experts to join the quorum. Much taxpayer monies have been spent on investigating alternative energy sources. How many dollars were spent on investigating windmill power when all the average layman had to do was to go the internet and learn about it (which I did) and realize that there are a whole bunch of companies out there looking to ditch obsolete and ineffective windmills very cheaply to unknowledgeable customers?
The US Virgin Islands have everything that nature provides to enable the territory to get off the main grid of oil. As long as the populace continues to elect to office a predominance of self-serving politicians who resent intelligent input from outsiders but jumps at a monetary kickback and baulks when no kickback is offered, the outcome is obvious.
So, you lovely WAPA people, what's the scoop? Hopefully there's a bright spark in charge who has the ability to look beyond tunnel vision?
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.