By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Utility conservation is making efficient strides at Tierra Vista housing here as residents begin realizing the benefit of saving energy as part of a billing program that began in spring 2012.
“To watch the numbers drop each month is amazing to see,” said John Bittner, Tierra Vista development manager, who oversees the utilities program.
During the past seven months, residents have cut consumption of electricity by 15 percent consistently.
“This is a great credit to the program and the residents who are making it happen,” said Bittner. “As soon as residents started receiving their monthly utility billing statement, the tide began to turn for the better.”
Residents who reduced the consumption of electricity in their household below the baseline level expected for their home began receiving money back.
“As soon as we saw how much money we earned that first month, it inspired us to continue our efforts,” said Tech. Sgt. Sarah Law, 50th Space Wing ground safety manager and Tierra Vista resident. “Even our kids are very conscious of leaving lights on when they leave a room. They even remind us if we forget, which isn’t very often, but it does happen from time to time.”
Bittner too is excited about the savings residents are seeing.
“That’s great news for the environment and for residents,” he said. “There is still room for more savings and particularly on gas where consumption has remained steady from last year.”
On average, since the program’s start, the typical Tierra Vista household here has received a monthly rebate of $45.
“We want people to be successful in their conservation efforts,” added Bittner. “When residents succeed, so too does the environment; but most of all it is good for the future of our families and community.”
Periodic reviews, in accordance with Tierra Vista’s rental rate management plan, are intended to ensure residents are receiving the most accurate allowances possible. Residents can see their new allowances as they are published on their next billing statement.
To further reduce its consumption of utilities, Tierra Vista recently began installing photovoltaic/solar panels at each of its three main project sites. Schriever AFB’s homes began seeing the electricity meter turn backwards soon after the switch was flipped on the system Sept. 17, as more energy was being produced by the solar panels during the day than was being consumed.
Residents who have questions about the new allowance rates or more ways to save energy can contact Devon Forhan, Tierra Vista community manager, at (719) 683-3660.
Ryan Mielke, senior marketing manager from Tierra Vista, contributed to this story.