Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Town hall highlights DoD conservation effort

By Jennifer Thibault

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

About 25 Schriever families gathered at the Tierra Vista Community Center here Wednesday to learn the latest on programs and resources available to them as part of ongoing efforts to establish a community here.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Webb kicked off the meeting as both the 50th Mission Support Group commander and the school liaison officer. He said his dual hats and being a resident himself put him in a unique position to be able to support the community’s needs.

One of the main bits of information he shared was that Ellicott School District will have representatives on base Aug. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon to help families register for the coming school year.

Various 50th Force Support Squadron representatives followed and highlighted some of their remaining summer opportunities, including youth camps and the Summer Block Party Blast.

The majority of the meeting; however, focused on the pending Residential Pay Program, which is a Department of Defense mandated program aimed at reducing home energy usage, specifically electrical and natural gas use, within privatized military housing.

A mock billing process began this month in which housing residents will receive a mock bill later this month. The bill will show based on the family’s usage whether they would have earned a credit or a debt for that month had it been a real bill, like the ones residents will begin receiving January 2012.

Credits and debts are earned based on the resident’s utility allowance which will vary based on the housing unit. Each floor plan will have a utility allowance of 110 percent of that unit’s average usage for that month the previous year. Families who consume energy below the 110 percent threshold will earn a credit and those who use more than the 110 percent level of energy will earn a debt, according to Byron Glenn, TVC development and utility manager.

Credits and debts are paid out and billed upon reaching a $25 limit. For instance, a credit will not be paid until the resident has earned credits totaling $25 or more. Bills will not come due until the resident has accumulated a bill of $25 or more.

The purpose of the mock billing is to give families time to become aware of their current energy usage.

“We can help you determine how to reduce or save energy resources based on your mock bills,” Glenn said.

After the first mock bills are distributed, TVC will have Minol representatives here to review the bills with residents and address any questions or concerns. Minol is a third party billing consultant who will collect utility data and prepare statements for the residents.

The mock bills will continue through December.

“We can help you make adjustments as needed so you’re prepared when we start actual billing in January 2012,” said Devon Forhan, community manager.

TVC also addressed residents’ concerns and highlighted some opportunities on the horizon. Forhan said the opening of the community dog park is less than two weeks away and that they are always looking for members to join the community enrichment counsel, especially during this moving season.

For more information on the mock billing and other TVC issues, residents should call 683-3660.

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