More About the RCI Utility Program

All new homes, as well as those constructed through military construction projects, will be/are Energy STAR compliant, being eco-efficient and equipped with appliances and other materials that are energy conservative.

Fort Lee Commonwealth Communities will use a third-party meter reading service to read meters, inform residents of energy saving tips and provide utility statements showing consumption and baseline data.

These third-party consultants are experts in energy billing and will manage the process in the most fair and equitable way. The third-party service will work with residents on ways to conserve energy, provide educational training tips and provide specific feedback on individual consumption trends.

Soldiers are not individually responsible for water, sewer costs or utilities consumed in common areas or vacant houses.

The Residential Communities Initiative Utility Program involves metering of gas and electricity only.

Why Monitor Utilities?

Congress passed legislation in 1996, which allowed the services to privatize family housing and use allotted Basic Allowance for Housing to pay for the funding of housing projects. In September 1998, the Office of the Secretary of Defense published guidance requiring military members in privatized housing to be responsible for the utilities they consume. It also established procedures that allow military members who conserve to be financially rewarded and those who do not conserve to be billed for their consumption.

Saving energy is the right thing to do because it’s environmentally responsible. Preservation of our planet and a healthy environment can be assured for our children’s future. It’s financially beneficial for our neighborhoods. Dollars saved through conservation will mean more money for construction of new homes and community facilities/amenities within our neighborhoods; the savings will stay local. Utility savings are reinvested into post housing.

Purpose of Mock Billing

The purpose of the “Mock Billing” is to enable the U.S. Army, FLCC and residents to work out their concerns regarding implementation of the Resident Direct Pay Program, which assigns responsibility and accountability for energy consumption to residents of family housing.

Through the “Mock Billing” period, residents will become knowledgeable on how much gas and electricity they consume each month, and in turn work to conserve our natural resources. This provides an opportunity for residents to learn and teach their family members on the importance of reducing energy consumption.

The “Mock Billing” period will accomplish several things, to include helping residents track their usage and consumption patterns, allow residents to receive monthly tips on how to conserve.

As residents become familiar with the billing process, they will also be offered training to learn a more energy efficient strategy.

The Department of Defense energy conservation efforts is scheduled at Fort Lee in September. All newly constructed/renovated homes, (newly constructed refers to all homes on Fort Lee built or renovated after 1996) will be metered for gas and electric usage. 649 homes will participate initially. These homes include:

270 homes in Harrison Villa

172 homes in Jackson Circle

124 homes in Madison Park

81 homes in Jefferson Terrace

2 homes in Monroe Manor, (GFOQ)

Anticipated start date is yet to be determined for the “Mock Billing” portion of the program. “Mock Billing” will not begin until all homes are metered in a neighborhood. The target date for completion of meter installation is November. “Mock Billing” will begin on a monthly basis immediately after meter installation with actual billing statements beginning approximately March 2008.