Navy’s new base housing electricity program under fire for ‘wacky bills’ and inaccuracies

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“Some people have $500 dollar bills, others have $6 dollar bills, it doesn't even make any sense,” said Amy Smith, just one of the many military moms up in arms about the Navy's new "Resident Energy Conservation Program."

Meant to help the Navy cut down on electric costs in base housing, it’s now raising costs for some of these families, left confused and wondering about crazy numbers showing up on their mock bills.

“We use an average of 1800 KWH one month, and another month, we use only 560,” said Smith. “One of our bills, we used 2000 KWH in one day.”

Rent for Navy housing has covered electric costs for years—but under the new program, the Navy is now instituting an allowance limit each month.

That limit changes constantly...because it depends on what your neighbors' use.

The Navy stacks everybody up against an average for similar size houses.

It’s an amount unknown to these families until their bill comes in the mail.

“Most people can budget, know the average of what they pay each month, and I don't know how we are supposed to do that,” said Smith.

Some of the bills are so low, that even the Navy says they are flagging them as a problem.

This November bill from Whitehurst Farms shows the family used just $6 worth of energy all month!

Messing up the average for families like the Bower’s.

“How are my bills so high, but someone that has same exact set up, square footage and everything, has a six-dollar bill?” asked Andrea Bower.

According to her mock bills, Andrea's family used about $1,000 worth of energy in the past four months.

If the system was live, she would have racked up more than $300 in overage charges.

“It doesn't work. If it did, there wouldn't be as many complaints,” said Bower.

In the end, these residents say it all comes down to trust and that they don't have much in the Navy's new system.

“Start mock billing over with brand new equipment and do it the right way,” said Bower.

Still, the Navy says it's sticking with their January 1st start date, telling NewsChannel 3 they monitored the mock billing process, and out of 4300 housing units in Hampton Roads, only 170 have been flagged for audits because of errors in statements.

Even though they say the system is ready to go live, Navy officials stress if a resident has a problem with their bill, they can always go to the housing service center on base for help, and that no resident will ever be charged if their meter is determined to be the problem.


  • dcy

    It’s really about time housing residents be held accountable for use of utilities. Seriously, people I know leave their a/c or heat on with doors and windows open. I completely agree with figuring out a reasonable amount of energy/water usage and charging for excessive use of utilities. Keeping the house at 65 in the summer and 75 in the winter is quite excessive.

    • TMA

      Please explain to me how I used 1200 kwh last month when I haven’t run my heater at all, we don’t have a/c and I am very adamant that lights do not get turned on during day light hours and at night we only use one light in the entire house, and as soon as we leave the room that light goes off… Did I mention that it’s just me, my husband and our dog? 90% of the time my husband is working — except at night when he goes straight to bed. The system is flawed. It’s not just at that base, Camp Pendleton is having major issues also. The system just doesn’t work correctly. We have NO issues paying our electricity usage (though I thought that was where part of our BAH went to?!), however we do have issues being screwed over and charged outrageously.

  • jsbmith

    NSA are partnering with Virginia State Police and local police and are torturing innocent citizens. Read “A Note on Uberveillance” by M. D. Michael. Newport News Police and Virginia State Police had a doctor implant me w/o my knowledge and consent with a biochip. A U. S. Attorney for the NSA/DOJ pretended to be my attorney. It enables torture and thought monitoring. They use it as a sensor and pulse energy projectiles at you. I had a heart attack. It enables voice to skull communication. See LRAD white papers or audio spotlight by Holosonics. See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer page 9. See Mental Health and Terrorism by Amin Gadit. See Bio Initiative Report 2012. See Forbes and search Brandon Raub. Law enforcement tases citizens into “excited delirium” (see at nij org) to make them act in ways they normally would not. I believe they are directly responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre. There are 3 reasons to have it implanted 1) mental health, 2) criminal record, and 3) infectious disease. If you don’t meet any of those requirements like me, they’ll falsify your records. All the mass shootings are the work of law enforcement. They want to take away your right to bear arms and make America a police state. People aren’t suddenly going crazy, they’re being tortured. I also believe the biochip to be responsible for PTSD. Read Brian Castner’s book “A Long Walk”. I have the same ambiguous pains, twitches, heart attack, night mares, day mares, gurgling, etc. I never served in the war. What do we have in common? The biochip. Suicide is one way to get relief. Virginia’s suicide rate is higher than the national average and the military suicide rate is unacceptable! i was told by a state trooper they come in through your electronics.

  • Johnny B.

    Hmm that’s less than 4% of residents having a billing discrepancy. Seems pretty low and the system is not live yet.

    • TMA

      The system is live at some bases, and there are a lot of people who having billing discrepancies across the United States… It’s not just happening at this base!

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