The V.I. Water and Power Authority is now issuing its second round of post-storm bills for electricity and water.
Some of the bills will be based on actual consumption and others will be estimated, WAPA officials said in a statement Friday.
WAPA installed automated metering systems, but they were damaged in the storms. Until they are fully restored, meter services personnel 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 WAPA Executive Director Lawrence Kupfer.
WAPA plans to continue to offer payment plans to customers on a case-by-case basis.
“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 encouraged 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 the payment kiosks located at Petrus Plaza on St. Thomas and at the authority’s customer service offices. In fact, I encourage customers who want to pay down on their balance to utilize the kiosks.”
WAPA officials say some previous bills were not correct and the utility will issue a credit soon. They say 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, WAPA will issue a credit to all affected customers, based on consumption during the bill period. The two-tier payment structure provides one rate for the consumption of as much as 250-kilowatt hours, and a slightly higher rate for consumption in excess of that Bills that cover a long period of time would exceed 250-kilowatt hours by a larger amount than a single month’s billing.
Billing questions or concerns can be directed to representatives at customer service offices located at Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas, Sunny Isle on St. Croix, and at The Marketplace on St. John. Customer Service offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix operate 7:30 a.m. to 4p.m. Monday through Friday, On St. John, the Customer Service office operates between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. 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.