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NEWS | Nov. 29, 2012

Balfour Beatty Communities Town Hall meetings explain mock billing

By Staff Sgt. Anthony Hyatt Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities recently held a town hall meeting to discuss mock billing with base housing residents at the Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station.

The mock billing will begin Jan. 1, 2013, and continue for three months. Live Billing will begin April 1, 2013.

In 1998, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense established a policy requiring residents of privatized family housing to pay utilities to encourage energy conservation under the Resident Energy Conservation Program.

What is mock billing?

Residents should receive their first mock billing statement on or around Feb. 15, 2013.

"During this time, residents will not be financially responsible for their utility usage," said Patti Stanley, Balfour Beatty Communities Manager. "Residents also will not be eligible to receive a rebate for savings."

The goal of the mock billing is to inform the residents of their energy consumption and their potential savings or payments and allow them to modify their behavior before live billing begins.

Live Billing

Residents can expect to receive their first live billing statement on or around May 15, 2013, and will be responsible to pay for their usage above the normal usage band.

How does the RECP work?

During the mock billing period, houses will be divided into a specific type group, which is determined by the neighborhood, size, construction type, type of dwelling and stories above grade. The average usage will be calculated for each like-type group and a 10 percent buffer will be placed around that average usage to create a normal usage band. The average is recalculated monthly to account for changes in seasonality.

"Those who go over the average and 10 percent buffer will have to pay the balance," said Stanley. "But those residents whose usage is below the normal usage band will be eligible for a refund."

Residents may choose to bank their rebates to offset future payments.

Statements will be generated by YES Energy Management, according to Stanley. YES Energy Management is Balfour Beatty Communities third-party provider for meter reading.

Payments can be made online via the Resident Portal, by phone, by mail or at the Community Management office.

Residents may opt-in to receive text or Twitter messages to help save energy, said Stanley. Residents can also sign up for a free, home energy audit.

JB Charleston - Air Base housing will not be implementing this program until 2014.

For more information on mock billing, call 843-797-5631 or visit www.cnic.navy.mil/cnrserecp or www.nwscharlestonhomes.com.

Wounded Warriors, Exceptional Family Members and others with disabled family members may apply to be excluded from the program. Wounded Warriors will automatically be exempt if they apply. EFM and those with disabled family members will need to go through an application process at which their exemption could be denied at the Navy's discretion.