The WAPA bills continue to skyrocket and there is no end in sight. Its obvious that rate payers will not see any quick fix any time soon. The people of the Virgin Islands have been put in this position because of the inefficiency of the PSC and the shortsightedness of past administrations.
I really hope that changes are on the horizon, but as we all know, the horizon is way off in the distance. In the meanwhile we all have to help ourselves.
I saw my electric bill quadruple from $45 a month to a high of $190 in three years. Now I know a lot of people have higher bills than that. But relatively speaking, a bill like this can put me deep in debt. After all, WAPA has us by the proverbial screws. You must pay this bill in full every month or be left without power. Hmmm, considering how many times a week my power goes out, sometimes I wonder how much different it would be to actually have no power at all.
Anyway, when I got that big bill, I said to myself "I'm fed up and I'm not going to take it any more!" and started a campaign to reduce electricity use in my home. Believe me, its more than using the energy saving bulbs.
I use hot water less than 3 hours a day, the rest of the time the heater is unplugged. A timer would work just as good, I'm told. Any electronic device that leaves a light shining after it's turned off, I put on a power strip so I can completely turn it off when not in use. That includes the time showing on the microwave, and the LED's on the TV, vcr, and satellite box. I don't even use my clock radio alarm anymore, I wake up by my cell phone alarm. The coffee maker, blender and everything else is unplugged. I have a scented candle in the bathroom so I don't flip the switch a few times a night. Did you know that when you leave your cell phone charger plugged in the wall after you unplug the phone it still draws electricity? Look for all the energy stealers in your home and eliminate them.
Well, I got my bill down to an average of $80 a month, it's still high, and I'm still looking for ways to get it down more. Maybe I'll have to give up hot showers altogether.
Frederiksted, St. Croix
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.