Live Army Green Utility Metering for APG could lead to $$ for residents

About 600 APG residents are set to receive new electric and gas meters as part of the Live Army Green Program promoting energy conservation and utility billing in government housing. | Courtesy Photo

Approximately 600 residents across APG will begin seeing the installation of new electric and gas meters starting Oct. 30. The installation of meters is part of the Live Army Green Program, an Office of the Secretary of Defense-enacted policy promoting energy conservation and utility billing for privatized housing in all military services.

So what exactly does this mean for those living in housing on post? It could mean the difference between paying a utility bill and getting a rebate check. Here’s how the program works.

The Live Army Green Program was designed to encourage residents to conserve and become more responsible for their energy usage and consumption. The Department of Army is also taking steps to conserve energy in their daily operations. According to Michael Fancher, Housing Chief, Directorate of Public Works, this program is a win-win for APG.

“The Live Army Green Program encourages responsible energy stewardship by our Army Family Housing residents,” said Fancher. “Dollars we save through this program equate to money reinvested back into our housing program.”

Allison Fenwick, Community Manager for Corvias on APG said the program’s goal is to reduce energy usage which is better for the environment and the resident. “Dollars saved through conservation efforts equates to more money that may be used to improve existing homes and community facilities, Fenwick said.

Under the program, homes that are the same, or similar, are grouped together to determine a baseline. Only homes with similar attributes, such as size, age and location, are grouped together. The baseline is created by averaging utility use of grouped homes. The baseline is averaged monthly so current conditions are automatically factored in.

Once the baseline is established, a 10 percent buffer zone is added above and below the average. Families consuming above the buffer zone will receive a “balance due” notice on their statement, meaning a payment is due. Families conserving under the baseline will receive a rebate check, or reward statement, for their conservation efforts. However, payments or rebates are not collected or distributed until a $25 trigger point is reached.

There are a few advantages to the trigger points. If a family is a little over one month and then a little under the next month their balance may not reach a trigger point.

According to Fenwick the Live Army Green Program is not new to APG. The Bayside community was the first full community to enter the LAG program for Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2014. Fenwick said the upcoming installation is for homes built prior to the implementation of the DOD policy.

“All of our newer homes already have meters and have been part of the program,” Fenwick said. “However, there are around 600 homes that will have the meters installed as we move toward compliance with the policy.”

While residents won’t have to worry about being home to let someone in to complete the installation as the project gets underway, residents may experience a brief, up to 15-minute, power interruption during the install.

The installation will begin with the Edgewood side of the installation on Oct. 30. Once the Edgewood homes have been completed, the contractors will begin to install the meters on the Aberdeen homes. The entire meter install project should take about two weeks, depending on weather.

According to Fenwick, residents will receive their first mock bills after all the meters have been installed for their electricity and gas use as the homes enter into the Live Army Green conservation program. The mock billing period will help determine a baseline for actual billing. The length of the mock billing will be determined by Corvias. Before billing goes “live,” residents will be notified.

Fenwick said a great thing about the mock billing period is it gives residents an opportunity to see just how much gas and electricity they are using and make adjustments to their consumption and habits.

“The smallest efforts on the part of our residents can make a huge difference,” she said. “Imagine if every resident made an effort to turn off lights in rooms that weren’t being used or dialed back the AC when they are away from home—not only would the DOD, the Army and the environment reap the benefits, but it could put a few bucks back in their pockets.”

For more information about this program, visit the Corvias website at APG.CorviasMilitaryLiving.com and view the Live Army Green brochure and the sustainability video linked at the bottom of the page.

By Kelly Luster, Garrison PAO