The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority began issuing bills on February 9, 2018 for electrical and potable water services provided after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
These bills are being issued in two forms. Some customers will be billed based on actual consumption, from the day of their service restoration to the date the meter was read, while other customers will receive estimated bills based on thirty days of consumption.
“Due to the extensive hurricane damage incurred by WAPA’s automated metering infrastructure, electrical and potable water meters must be read manually by meter services personnel,” said Interim Chief Executive Office Clinton Hedrington, Jr. As a result, WAPA will estimate some bills to allow monthly billing to resume and allow the utility to generate revenues to offset its obligations. “Some customers were fortunate to have had their service restored just days after Hurricane Irma, and again shortly after Hurricane Maria, but have not been billed for that service.”
The estimated bills will be averaged from the customer’s bills for the periods April-May, May-June, and June-July 2017. “Nearly every customer has had electrical and/or potable water service at their home or business for at least thirty days, and this first wave of post-storm estimated bills will reflect thirty days of consumption.
“Additionally, WAPA will be extending payment plans to customers who received actual consumption bills, covering the period from their date of restoration to the date the meter was read,” Hedrington said. Although WAPA has suggested that customers pay down on their balance, customers will be afforded a payment plan on a case-by-case basis. Those customers who receive an estimated bill covering a thirty-day period will not be eligible for a payment plan. “Given the estimated bill of only thirty days, we will not be extending the payment plan to those customers.”
When automated metering infrastructure facilities are restored, an actual consumption reading will be taken of all customers who received estimated bills so adjustments can be made to the account balance. The customer will then be responsible for any balance that exists.
“While the issuance of estimated bills is always a last resort for the Authority, WAPA has had to revert to such billing method at this time to begin collecting monies owed for services provided over the past five months,” Hedrington added.
Billing questions or concerns should be directed to customer service representatives 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 weekdays 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. On St. John, the Customer Service office operates weekdays between 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.