News: Cherry Point introduces residents to DoD energy conservation program
Story by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – Base housing residents here might find a check in their mailbox for conserving energy or a bill for excessive use when a Department of Defense conservation program takes effect in January.
The Resident Energy Conservation Program is a secretary of defense initiative and a proven concept after preliminary pilot phases in Hawaii and Beaufort, S.C. The program saved up to nine percent of electricity usage during a two-year test period. The Department of the Navy now plans to enroll all of its residential facilities into the program.
Housing authorities here educated residents on how the program will impact them at a town hall meeting, June 13.
The air station's enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Angela M. Maness, participated in the trial program in Hawaii and said it was very effective there. She said the incentives may even draw more residents to Cherry Point housing to take advantage of the deal.
A three-month test-run is scheduled to start here Oct. 1 when residents will receive notices informing them if they would have earned money, been required to pay, or neither. During this phase, no one will be billed or credited. The full program is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, with the first checks and bills to arrive in mailboxes in February.
The program works by grouping houses into “like housing groups” with similar electricity usages. The average usage for this group acts as the baseline to determine how much money a resident pays or receives. If a resident's power consumption is within 10 percent above or below the baseline, the resident will neither owe nor receive a refund. Residents only pay for electricity outside of the 10-percent zone. The same applies to refunds.
Exemptions may be granted by the Military Housing Office to Wounded Warrior and Exceptional Family Member Program participants if they use massive amounts of electricity due to their EFMP status, said Dixie L. Johnson, a strategic marketing manager for Atlantic Marine Corps Communities.
Any resident can ask Atlantic Marine Corps Communities for an energy audit to help them save energy and earn more money. Officials will track a resident's energy habits and identify appliances drawing excessive power. The maintenance department may replace broken appliances. Atlantic Marine Corps Communities will offer a variety of tips on its website to help residents conserve electrical usage, said Johnson.
AMCC will reinvest the money saved and collected back into the community to improve individual homes and pay for improvements to parks and public areas.
“It’s a good deal for our Marines, it’s a good deal for the Marine Corps, and it’s a good deal for our partner, AMCC,” said Lt. Col. Paul W. Miller, the military family housing manager for Cherry Point. “It’s hard to find any losers in this situation.”
For more information, contact your community leader or go to http://www.atlanticmcc.com/.