Army Suspends Utility Billing Program
As of March 1st of this year, the Army has suspended its utility billing program for privatized housing units. The program, that started in 2006, was designed to provide incentives to residents in privatized housing to decrease their energy use. The Army would calculate a baseline average usage for housing, and then either send a rebate or credit if the family used less than the baseline, a bill if they used more.
Why Was the Army Utility Billing Program Suspended?
The reason that this program has been suspended is because of the February 13th hearing about problems with privatized housing and testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Army Leaders also met with the leaders of privatized housing companies. This is when they agreed to suspend their energy programs on Army installations.
Bottom Line Upfront
While this seems like a good step, it might depend on what your family does as to how you feel about it. If you usually go over the baseline usage, you will be grateful to not be receiving a bill anymore but if you tend to stay under, you might start to miss your credit or rebate checks.
DoD Officials Acquire First Hand Knowledge
Officials have been holding town hall meetings in places such as Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg in order to hear resident’s concerns about military housing. These meetings and discussions were required by the DOD and the Services in the midsts of reports and testimony by military families about issues such as mold, mice, and other housing problems. Over the years there have also been made about utility building while in privatized housing.
There is no better way to know what is going on in military housing than asking those who have lived in it and are experience the problems first hand. Hopefully, there will be a lot of positive changes going forward from these meetings and hearings on military housing issues. The Army suspending its utility billing program might be a step in the right direction.
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About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.