The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) advises its customers that the second round of post-storm bills for electrical and potable water service is now being issued. As with the initial set of bills, some will be based on actual consumption and others will be estimated.
WAPA is rebuilding its automated metering systems; until they are fully restored, meter services personnel will continue to manually read meters.
“The physical reading of the meters has caused a delay in WAPA’s ability to process bills for a normal billing cycle. As a result, this second wave of post-storm bills are for extended billing periods. The bills that are now being issued will cover the period from the customer’s last meter read date to late March,” said Lawrence Kupfer, WAPA executive director.
In addition, the authority will continue to offer payment plans to customers on a case-by-case basis.
WAPA apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the extended billing periods, the estimated bills for electrical and water service, and the delay in issuing bills to its customers.
“We assure our customers that all efforts are being made to rebuild our automated metering systems to facilitate a resumption of electronic meter reading. Once the systems are restored, an actual consumption reading will be taken of all customers who have received estimated bills so any required adjustments can be made,” Kupfer said.
He encourages customers who have not received bills since the initial bill issuance to pay down on their balance. “Customers can utilize the on-line payment portal on the WAPA website: www.viwapa.vi or at the payment kiosks located at Petrus Plaza on St. Thomas or the authority’s customer service offices. In fact, I encourage customers who want to pay down on their balance to utilize the kiosks.”
According to Kupfer, when WAPA resumed billing for post-storm services, the utility applied its two-tier rate structure across the customer’s entire consumption total, as if it represented an ordinary billing cycle. To correct this issue, WAPA will be issuing a credit shortly to all affected customers, based on consumption during the bill period. The two-tier payment structure provides one rate for the consumption of up to 250-kilowatt hours and a slightly higher rate for consumption in excess of 250-kilowatt hours.
Billing questions or concerns should be directed to representatives at customer service offices located at Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas, Sunny Isle on St. Croix or at The Marketplace on St. John. Customer Service offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix operate weekdays 7:30 a.m. –to 4 p.m. On St. John, the Customer Service office operates weekdays between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Self-service payment kiosks are available during business hours at the customer service locations, and seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Petrus Plaza.