Stop the RECP Program on Military Bases
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The RECP program sounded like a good idea at the time. RECP = Resident Energy Conservation Program. The gist of it is to make military families living aboard bases more responsible for their electric consumption by installing meters in their homes and charging families for electric use above what is considered 'normal'. *This was a President Clinton intiative that was enforced by President Obama*
Military Homes on Base/Post were not built for independent billing
The great majority of homes built on our military bases were not wired for independent electric billing. Many homes have been found to be connected to street lights, common utilities, their neighbor's homes. Furthermore, when families are in excess, they can receive bills of several hundred dollars and are faced with eviction if they can't pay their bills. They ask for help, yet the housing managers cannot prove why their use is so high. If those bills aren't paid, the housing management goes to the service member's command -- many times resulting in a bad counseling report and the service member can lose their job.
Military families are not LIVING normally in their homes
Our military families are living in fear. Fear of the high bills they can't afford. They shut off their breakers when they leave their home to ensure they don't get a bill. They do their laundry at laundromats out in town. They take cold showers and anything else to reduce electric consumption in their homes. This affects the net consumption for the neighborhood and essentially punishes families bathing their children, using their dishwasher, etc. THIS ISN'T LIVING!
- The conditions at Camp Pendleton, California show hot homes where children are sleeping in 85+ degree rooms with no AC, yet still may see a several hundred dollar bill for running fans trying to keep their home cool. See here: https://welcomehomeblog.com/2017/09/28/military-children-exposed-to-mold-termites-and-extreme-heat-in-on-base-housing/
- Not all homes share the same energy efficient appliances. If a neighbor has a newer, more energy efficient fridge or dishwasher, and your home has old clunky appliances that housing refuses to replace, you're stuck paying higher electric bills.
- Not all homes have the same family size. Some homes may have two people. Some may have six. Some may have a service member deployed.
- There is NO WAY that you can evenly monitor and assess electric bills between homes that were never wired independently, with all of the circumstances above, to make it fair for our families with a 10% buffer.
Furthermore, the civilian housing managers have the ability to change and manipulate the data collected. In one instance, we found a bill that DID NOT match SDGE's electric meter use. They were off by several hundred kWh for 10 months.
We have spent the last year begging leadership to audit the program. It's fallen on deaf ears.
Please stop the program NOW
It's not working and it is hurting the readiness of our military. In fact, there was a recent congressional report that stated the base conservation program wasn't working, now they need to recognize it's not working in the homes as well: http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674888.pdf
Our service members, military spouses, and their children deserve better than this. Our military families are ripped apart for months and sometimes years on end, serving faithfully through 16 years of war. Deployment after deployment.
Don't our veterans deserve a hot shower when they come home from the field? Don't our military spouses deserve to bathe their children without worrying how much electricity they're consuming?
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