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Virgin Islands Energy News

WAPA Gets OK for Rate Increase
Sept. 12, 2008 – In September, Virgin Islanders are faced again with an increase in their Water and Power Authority rates. Rates in the V.I. are 3.5 times the average rates in the continental United States.
This has caused a great deal of interest in alternative energy and energy efficiency. The V.I. Energy Office is planning many outreaches in October to give updated information about those subjects. Also, information is available on the Energy Office's Web site: www.vienergy.org
Energy Office Rebate Program Begins
The Energy Office rebate programs begin Oct. 1, and run through July 31. The rebates are for V.I. residents and purchases must be made in the territory from certified rebate dealers. All V.I. businesses interested in providing energy efficient and renewable energy products are invited to contact the VIEO for information on how to become a "VIEO Certified Rebate Dealer."
The rebate programs offer financial assistance as an incentive to purchase energy efficient and renewable energy products. Present and former certified rebate dealers are required to submit a new application for re-certification. Vendor application packages are available at VIEO offices located on the 2nd floor at Cyril E. King Airport, St. Thomas, and at No. 45 Mars Hill, Frederiksted, St. Croix, or vendors can contact Leila Muller at 773-1082, ext. 2201 or e-mail lmuller@vienergy.org
Energy Office Revamps Grant Program
The Energy Office has revamped its Discretionary Grant program for the upcoming year. The Solar Outdoor Lighting, Energy Education Outreach and Energy Efficient Building Retrofits components are no longer available. Education mini-grants, however, will remain available and the VIEO rebate program for energy efficient appliances and alternative energy products will start back up in October.
The three categories have been discontinued so the Energy Office can focus on monitoring projects that were previously funded. It is also focusing more on fulfilling the mandate, passed earlier this year by the senate, that it implement a program to reduce government power consumption by 20 percent within four years.
To read more about that in the V.I. Source go to Energy Office Shifts Focus to Government Savings.
Human Services Offering Help
With the rising costs of energy it is understandable that a growing number of V.I. residents are seeking help to pay the bills. The Human Services Department's energy assistance program has gotten a boost this year with funding appropriated by the legislature increasing from $150,000 three years ago to $1 million this year.
"Still, the demand exceeds funding," Program Administrator Lennox Zamore told the Source recently. To read the Source article click: Human Services Offering Help with Electric Bills.
Virgin Island Beach Clean Ups Set This Month
International Coastal Cleanup, spearheaded by the Ocean Conservancy and locally referred to as Coastweeks, kicks off Sept. 20.
For three weeks, local residents scour the beaches for debris with schools, groups and individuals participating. Organizers on all three islands are currently lining up volunteers.
To volunteer, call Kristin Maize at 779-4940, on St. John, Marcia Taylor at 692-4046, on St. Croix or Lihla Noori at 693-1392, on St. Thomas.

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