Navy’s electric billing program for military housing delayed after residents report problems

Posted at 6:52 PM, Sep 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-27 21:51:41-04

Military wives living in base housing knew the days of free electricity were over with the Navy's new Residential Energy Conservation Program.

“I do think we need to be more energy-efficient,” said Amy Smith, a Navy wife who lives in Whitehurst Farms in Norfolk.

Smith, though, says she did not sign up for her bills to go up and down like a roller coaster ride.

“July, we had an $82 credit, and then this month we would owe $37,” said Smith, even after applying that earlier credit. “That was almost a $200 jump and we haven't changed anything.”

For Sarah Kelley, it’s not only the $125 jump she saw in her bill, but also the inaccurate meter readings.

These are just mock bills--real bills were supposed to start this coming Tuesday, October 1st.

But after so many problems, residents found out just two weeks ago that the mock billing period has been extended. The Navy officially announced that the live billing period will now start January 1st, 2014.

“The extension ensures all processes are in place and accurate prior to the live billing, and to allow residents additional time to prepare and understand their bill, their usage and the resources available to help manage usage. Please let your viewers know residents with questions should contact their local PPV community manager, or their installation's Navy Housing Service Center,” said Jim Moir, spokesman for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

“I think it’s mismanaged and disorganized right now, that’s the big reason it’s being pushed back,” said Smith.

These families hope the Navy can work out the kinks in the next three months, because they just can't afford to pay for somebody else's mistakes.

“We just want to be charged fairly,” said Kelley.