Navy to Begin Pilot Resident Energy Conservation Program in September


Story Number: NNS100803-09Release Date: 8/3/2010 4:14:00 PM
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By Karen S. Spangler, Commander Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Residents of Navy and Marine Corps public-private venture (PPV) housing in Hawaii will soon be asked to take the next step toward energy conservation when the Department of the Navy introduces its Resident Energy Conservation Program (RECP) in September.

The Department of the Navy will launch RECP as a pilot program at two privatized locations, here in Hawaii and at Beaufort/Parris Island in South Carolina. Forest City Military Communities is the Navy and Marine Corps PPV partner in Hawaii.

The emphasis on energy conservation is not a new concept. In 1998, the Office of the Secretary of Defense established the policy for the payment of utilities in PPV housing in order to encourage energy efficiency in privatized units.

Although public-private ventures have made considerable progress in eliminating inadequate Navy family housing, statistics show that PPV residents consume more energy than their military and civilian counterparts who live in the civilian community.

The RECP program aligns with Department of Defense and Department of the Navy energy conservation initiatives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.

"It's the right thing to do," said Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "Conserving energy helps our fragile ecosystem by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, in general, and foreign oil, in particular. Careful conservation of valuable resources through decreased energy consumption contributes to our nation's security and readiness and enables us to better support Sailors and their families, here in Hawaii and nationwide."

"The Forest City Military Communities and Navy Region Hawaii privatized housing partnership is the first Navy location to implement the RECP," said Will Boudra, vice president of development for Forest City. "Ten months of time and effort has been invested by both the Forest City and Navy Region teams to build upon the programs previously implemented at other services' privatized housing projects."

The benefits of saving energy will directly affect PPV residents. Saving energy costs will translate into capital that will be re-invested back into the PPV community, resulting in improvements and community amenities.

Another benefit will enable families whose consumption of electricity is less than a 'normal usage band' to earn rebates.

"Conserving energy is a win-win for everyone," said Smith. "Not only will dollars saved be put back into family housing for community services, programs and amenities, but families who reduce their electric consumption below the 'normal usage band' will receive rebate checks."

Under the RECP, each month a utility allowance will be established for groups of similar size and type homes.

A buffer will be added above and below the baseline (average)to create a 'normal usage band' that accounts for variances. The RECP requires residents who exceed the usage band to pay for the excess usage and provides a credit or rebate to residents who use electricity at a level lower than the usage band.

Beginning in September, housing residents will start receiving a 'mock bill.' The mock billing will continue through December.

The 'mock bill' will let residents know if they would have owed no money, received a credit or rebate, or would have owed a payment for excess consumption if it were an actual bill under the RECP.

"I feel like this is a totally error proof program," said Lauren Rabb, resident advisory board president of the Moanalua Terrace RAB. "You can't go wrong if you just do the right thing."

Actual billing will begin Jan. 1, 2011 and residents will become responsible for their own electricity usage. The live billing phase of the pilot program will continue for one year.

In January 2012, there will be an evaluation of the pilot program, and strategies will be determined for implementing the program across all PPV locations.

"We are all responsible for the betterment of the world we live in and this is a great opportunity to show the world that military families are conscientious of future resources on multiple levels," said Renee Midgett, president of the Maloelap RAB.

For more information about the RECP program and frequently asked questions, visit http://www.greatlifehawaii.com/recp/ or http://www.fcnavyhawaii.com.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.

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