RECP Encourages Utility Usage Conservation in Privatized Housing

By Fran Peters
Commander, Navy Installations Command – Navy Housing, Current Operations

Over the coming months, more and more Sailors and their families living in Navy privatized housing will be participating in Resident Energy Conservation Program as it launches at their installation.

A 111-home family housing development at Trumbo Point, an annex of Naval Air Station Key West, Aug. 9, 2011 (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Carson/Released)

A 111-home family housing development at Trumbo Point, an annex of Naval Air Station Key West, Aug. 9, 2011 (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Carson/Released)

The Resident Energy Conservation Program encourages conservation by transferring responsibility for utility usage to families living in privatized housing. Right now, residents have unlimited usage that can lead to utility usage greater than the allowance included within the Basic Allowance for Housing.

The monthly average for a Public Private Venture home is determined by combining like-type groups of homes of similar age, size, construction and energy efficiency. The monthly energy consumption average is calculated by taking the energy consumption of all homes in a like-type group and dividing by the number of homes in that group. In large like-type groups (20 or more homes), the top and bottom 5 percent of homes are excluded from the like-type group average calculation. Grouping like type homes ensures fairness by ensuring that resident usage is compared with homes of similar size, age, construction and energy efficiency. After the average is calculated, a buffer of 10 percent above and below the average is established. Public Private Venture  residents consuming more than 10 percent of the average (above the upper buffer) pay for excess energy usage and those that conserve more than 10 percent of the average (under the lower buffer) receive a rebate check for the amount below the buffer.

Prior to the start of the Resident Energy Conservation Program, all residents will receive a three-month sample billing (mock billing) period prior to the start of live billing.

An example of a mock energy bill residents of Public Private Venture housing can expect between July and September. The mock bills serve to let residents know how much energy they use compared to the Normal Usage Band for their area. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo/Released)

An example of a mock energy bill residents of Public Private Venture housing can expect between July and September. The mock bills serve to let residents know how much energy they use compared to the Normal Usage Band for their area. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo/Released)

 

Residents living in privatized housing in Hawaii and the Southeast Region are the only locations currently in live billing. See below for the roll out schedule and status for all Navy privatized housing:

  • Hawaii: Live billing since January 2011
  • Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas): Live billing since April 1, 2013
  • New Orleans, La.: In mock billing/Live billing starts July 2013
  • Midwest (Illinois and Tennessee): In mock billing/Live billing starts August 2013
  • Northwest (Washington): In mock billing/Live billing starts August 2013
  • Southwest (California and Nevada): Live billing starts October 2013
  • Mid-Atlantic (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia): Live billing starts October 2013
  • Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island): Live billing starts October 2013

We know that residents of privatized military housing have some questions about the new program. Below are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions:

Why is the Navy implementing RECP?

The RECP satisfies a requirement from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to transfer responsibility for utility consumption from the project owner to residents of privatized housing.

Does the RECP reduce utility usage?

Yes, estimated savings from the Navy pilot program on Hawaii approach average over 10 percent since starting in January 2011. Research shows that unlimited utilities, included in rent, results in utility consumption that is higher than when residents have responsibility for utilities.

My Basic Allowance for Housing gets paid to the private partner. Doesn’t my BAH cover utilities?

Yes, the BAH does cover the cost of the average usage of utilities for a particular housing market and rank – much like it covers the typical rent within an area. However, the BAH does not include the cost of unlimited utility usage

Where do the savings go?

Any RECP generated conservation and cost savings are reinvested into the Public Private Venture project for funding future project costs to maintain high-quality housing and neighborhoods. A very small amount of the savings is shared with the Public Private Venture owner per cost-sharing percentage as negotiated in business agreements.

A full list of frequently asked questions and more information about the program is available on Commander, Navy Installations Command’s Resident Energy Conservation Program webpage.