14 Sep 2012

American Samoa govt owes power company over 10 million US dollars

9:50 am on 14 September 2012

The power bill for the American Samoa Government and its semi-autonomous agencies is 10.5 million US dollars.

The unpaid bill is one of the main reasons the American Samoa Power Authority cannot pass savings from their renewable projects onto customers.

Since the commissioning of their photovoltaic solar panel project in April, ASPA says it was been able to save almost 270,000 US dollars in funding which would have otherwise gone to paying for diesel.

But when vice speaker, Talia Faafetai I'aulualo, asked when customers can expect to get the savings, ASPA's CEO, Andra Samoa, says while they would like to share the savings with customers, they can't at this time because of their mounting accounts receivables.

An ASPA report that was shared with the Fono, showed the government's total unpaid power bill is 8.7 million while the LBJ hospital's bill is $1.1 million and the American Samoa Community College's is $631,400.

Talia says it's almost pointless to have alternative energy projects if ASPA can't pass the savings onto rate payers.