Air Force changes utility allowance for privatized housing residents

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  • By Staff reorts
The Air Force has revised its utility allowance policy to continue to cover utility costs for the average energy consumer. 

The policy was implemented June 2.

For new Robins Family Housing tenants, the revised policy for most active duty residents will now be calculated using monthly meter readings instead of the five-year average with a 10-percent buffer used under the previous policy. 

Current occupants will remain grandfathered in the old system for one year.

Under the old policy, Robins Family Housing spent thousands of dollars yearly on rebates that went to residents whose actual energy consumption rates were above average.

That meant, Robins Family Housing income went toward above-average rebates each year diverting funds from key program features, like maintenance support, housing modernization and community amenities.

Under the new policy, the utility allowance will still be determined by the average consumption rates of homes assembled in "like-type" groups at Robins Family Housing, and will still be carved out of basic allowance for housing. 

The new policy still supports the rebate system. However, the rebates will only go to those users who fall below the average user rate and a bill will be generated for those who exceed the average user rate.

Air Force wide, it's estimated that 75 percent of residents will be within $8 of the allowance.

Angela Johnson, Robins Housing Assistance Program Manager, echoed Air Force officials' comments. 

"The new policy empowers residents in privatized housing to manage their energy consumption, much like their off-base counterparts, and rewards those who are more energy conscious," she said. "The intent has always been to promote energy conservation by rewarding residents with less-than-average energy consumption through rebates. The new policy allows the Air Force to better meet that intent."   

Robins Phase I housing is located one mile from base and is metered. Utilities are billed directly for gas and electric. 

Georgia Power and the city of Warner Robins manages and collects electric and gas bills respectively based on personal consumption. Since those homes are metered, residents will retain a portion of their BAH to pay utilities directly. 

The utility allowance is determined based on the estimated average utility cost (gas and electric) for each unit type. 

At Robins Phase II located on base, homes in the community are metered and rent will include a utility allowance within the full BAH amount. 

The more energy residents conserve, the more money they will keep in their pocket. 

Editor's note: For more information about your utilities in Privatized Housing, please contact Robins Family Housing Property Management Office at 478 929-8988 or 478 225-9374.