The high cost of electricity on St. John generated a protest demonstration in Cruz Bay. Almost 50 people carried signs and picketed outside the Legislature and police department buildings to complain about the Water and Power Authority's rates and its use of oil to generate electricity. Some say they have to choose whether to pay the power bill or rent.
The St. John Source quoted Gary Ray, a local, saying the cost of a kilowatt hour on the island is 47 cents, compared to 12 cents on the mainland. Another man said his bill is $400 a month and he doesn't have air conditioning to blame for the high expense. Villa owners report monthly electricity costs of $350 to $900.
The owner of Baked in the Sun, K. O. Joseph, told the Source her monthly electric bill is $3,800. "How much can you pay for a bagel?", pointing our she doesn't have many options to raise prices.
One protester pointed out that several government agencies owe WAPA tens of thousands of dollars. "If I don't pay my bill, I'm turned off," Gary Emmons told the Source.
- Pictures of the protest were posted on Facebook. See them here.
- Read the full Source story
- WAPA held a public hearing a few weeks ago