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Community Issue

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Electricity Bill Shock

Families living in military housing on Camp Pendleton are outraged after recently being advised of a change to they’re electrical costs. The change is the implementation of a bill, in other words for over 20 years now families living on Camp Pendleton have never had to pay an electrical bill. The program is called Resident Energy Conservation Program and consists of 2 phases. Some may say that this is only fair due to the fact that everyone pays electrical bills in California but this is only fair in certain circumstances.

Unfair is what residents living on base housing are calling it. The Resident Energy Conservation Program consists of 2 phases. Phase one began in January 2013 and consists of “mock” bills that will show the resident how they’re energy consumption looks. Phase 2 which will begin on August 2013 is when the real electrical bill will be sent to residents. This is going to be rough for all residents living on base because its an adjustment not only to the way one lives in home but outside of they’re homes as well. As everyone knows military members don’t get the pay they deserve and saving money is quit difficult to do as it is. Families will now have to pay an extra bill and closely watch spending costs. According to the website www.pendleton.marines.mil an E-3 service member receives $1700 for BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) every 2 weeks. When living on base your check is automatically deducted $1200 every 2 weeks leaving you with $500 to pay for groceries and other expenses. It once was more beneficial to live on base because you wouldn’t have to pay for electricity water or gas but that is all changing. Families are now realizing the inconvenience of living on base. If a military family wants to live off base that’s not a problem, it is actually more convenient now.

The problem with this program is the fact that families already have they’re pay deducted to live on base and now they must be concerned with an extra bill. Some may argue that it is only fair we pay electrical bills too because everyone else does it as well but this is not the case when taking into consideration the amount of money that is already being deducted from the resident. Attempting to live on base a person must first be put on a 6-month waiting list, the housing is not of best quality, and neighbors are far from quit at times. If a solution could be thought of, it would be to raise the pay of individuals who decide to live on base, or reduce the amount of money being deducted to live on base. Another good solution can be cutting the amount of power being fed to your home by setting up regulators of some sort so all homes can slowly get used to using less and less electricity. It is only fair to say that the men and women fighting for our country are being treated unfairly in this situation as well as other situations. The solution is not giving them more bills and issues, the solution is yes to be more conservative but without charging them.

In conclusion The Resident Energy Conservation Program is not the solution to conserving energy because it is only frustrating and charging hard working member of the military who already have a hard time making ends meet. Conserving energy is task that is going to be difficult to complete but it has to be done by all family member before phase 2. People must realize that this is a big issue and although it may seem to be fair for some, it is not. Being prior military and living on base I know first hand how unfair and selfish this is.

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