Fri, 06/23/2017 - 6:45am

Scholarships awarded

To the Editor:

The Block Island Arts and Crafts Guild is pleased to announce the 2017 scholarships awarded annually to graduating Block Island School seniors. Congratulations to this year's winners, Barbara Trujillo and Violet Brown, attending URI and Eastern Connecticut State University respectively.

The $1,000 award has helped over 38 students achieve their goals over the years, with the Guild contributing $30,000 in the effort to support the arts. The award is announced during Block Island graduation ceremonies in June.

For more information regarding the scholarship, please contact the Block Island School Guidance Department.

Teri McCombe

Old Town Road


Thank yous

To the Editor:

On behalf of the parishioners of Saint Ann's By The Sea, I would like to thank all who made our Tagless Tag Sale Lunch a smashing success. Many of us are veterans of garage, yard, rummage, and tag sales. but we have never seen the quality and quantity of donated goods like those received by St. Ann's over the past months.  

Thank you to all the islanders, visitors, summer people, workers, and businesses who brought their "stuff" to our doors.

Thank you, too, to the people who came to see, shop, and dine. None were disappointed. A special thanks to Fr. Joseph Protano and the Rev. Steve Hollaway for letting us borrow their long tables to serve as our showroom.

Pam Hinthorn

Event Chairperson


To the Editor:

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to all the island restaurants, The Block Island Times and everyone who participated in the Bite of Block Island event. It was lots of fun, there was great food, and great people. The proceeds will go directly to food items we purchase such as fresh veggies, bread, fruit, and meats at holidays.

Thank you, 

Mimi Leveille and the Helping Hands Food Pantry Volunteers


Impact of the Wind Farm

To the Editor:

Proof of the effect of the Block Island Power Company’s inconsistent cycles and voltage on the i-210 smart meter.

Thirty-one months ago, I thought I was doing the right thing for both myself, and the environment, by installing a 1,500 watt solar system. The system is designed to provide me with power equal to the historic total load the house used in 2013 to 2014. When the system failed to produce to its designed criteria, I began to run a series of tests to find out why. The computer that runs my charge controller showed it produced, in most months, more power than I used. The meter, however, disagreed and would always show that I bought more than I sold. My charge controller also recorded wild and rapid fluctuations in both cycles and voltage on the delivered side of the meter. These fluctuations would be between 55.8 and 65 cycles and voltage between 117 to 124 in a 30-second period. I began to suspect a correlation between all the digital clocks on the island running ahead between 28 minutes and as much as 48 minutes in a month, and the i-210 smart meter. All digital timers rely on a steady delivered cyclic rate to run accurately. The i-210 smart meter is no different. It, like all utility meters in this country, is calibrated for 240 volts at 60 cycles. The bottom line, without getting into too much more detail, if you do not put 240 volts at 60 cycles into it, you will not get an accurate reading out of it. 

I wrote 27 letters to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and the Attorney General’s office, to no avail. I also gave a computer stick to the town that has all the data, videos, pictures, and charts I recorded over the past 30 months. My thinking was that the town, being the biggest BIPCo ratepayer, may be able to get some traction, or at least be interested in how they were being overbilled for their electric utilities. Well, if you thought that, you would be thinking wrong. No response at all. Not one word. I guess it didn’t fit in the agenda for the purchase of BIPCo.

How can I prove all this, you might ask? I had a series of experiments I was going to run, but I decided to wait, knowing that once the cable to mainland was finally energized, my theory would be confirmed, or proven false. On May 1, 2017 the power from the mainland began to flow to the delivered side of the meter at exactly 240 volts at 60 cycles and, on June 1, 2017, I recorded my first full month’s worth of data. Here is what happened:

The first thing to realize is that May of 2017 will go down as the fifth wettest month since records have been kept, so it was not optimum solar power producing weather. The other detail to keep in mind is that this is the same house, with the same appliances, and the same two people with the same routine, living in it. In May of 2015 my solar system produced 21 percent more power than it did in May of 2017. I paid .09 cents less per kWh in 2015 for the power I bought, versus the current rate in 2017, yet, lo and behold, my bill for May of 2017 will be 54 percent less than in May of 2015. To show how inconsistent the meter would read the delivered power, I will be 23 percent less than the May 2016 bill as well. All the digital clocks are also in line for the month, and I mean dead on, to the second, for the first time on Block Island, ever.

Let us look at a 54 percent reduction in my bill for a minute. That is a reduction of $22.10 off the May 2015 bill. I will not have an actual month-to-month comparison for a year but let’s just say I, and every other BIPCo ratepayer, was overcharged $22.10 a month for the 30 months I compiled the data. 

$22.10 x 30 months = $663.00 I over paid. $663.00 x 1800 ratepayers = $1,193,400.00 overcharge. That is $1,193,400 the meters could run ahead in 30 months.

I want to be sure you understand that this did not happen because I had a solar system installed. I discovered that it was happening because I had the data from my solar system. It has been happening to all ratepayers, all along.

You can see why the PUC didn’t want to pursue this too far. As for the Town Council, so much for having the best interest of the public in mind.

Just for some additional proof of BIPCo’s inability to supply power that could even be metered, as I completed this analysis on June 14, 2017, my meter reading is 5 kWh under what it read on May 1, 2017. This shows that my solar system has, in 14 days, erased the deficit from the poor production in May, and is on track for me to receive my first credit since it went on line in October of 2014. This is all because we are now being delivered power the meter was calibrated to read: 240 volts at 60 cycles.

Jeff Cowles

Connecticut Avenue