When I lived on Hunter Army Airfield almost 2 years ago they began the implementing of the Mock Billing Process. For those of you unfamiliar with this process it is when, housing monitors your electricity usage and essentially creates a baseline that will be your monthly average . When housing decides to actually began billing, you pretty much can go up to that amount without charge . If you go over you pay the difference.

For the visual: My mock bill this month was $257.53 and my average monthly use (baseline) is $229.00 so I would have paid the difference of $28.53 and that would have been what I owed. If I stayed under my average I would receive a small refund check.

So now that we have completed the math lesson let’s get to the point:

Lately alot of people living onpost are new to the mock bill situation, so I understand the concern and the freak out over it. I mean I know what your thinking. “These M%$#$ take all my BAH monthly and now you want to charge me for lights?

To that I say, Im with you in your line of thinking to a degree. Yes it bothers me that I live in new housing and while visually it’s pretty , structurally it’s shabby on top of the fact that you take over $2000 worth of BAH and now you want to charge me for lights.

On the other hand people we have to think that right now the economy is crap, in the real world people pay light bills ( so we mine as well well get use to it because it doesn’t stay this good forever) and let’s be real how long did you really think housing or the Army was was going to let us live in technically free housing with our rugrats running tv’s galore, lights on in every room (that would be us, but not on purpose) and a house full of Christmas lights (during the holidays)  like  Clark Griswald’s in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. So now there charging us and yes it sucks , no it’s not fair…but we have to be willing to take some responsibility ourselves.

So I know your asking well Army Wife 101 since your a know it all what should we do if we shouldn’t be mad?

Well I am not saying don’t be mad, but what I am saying is be alittle realistic. Electricity cost and honestly I have lived offpost and I will take a $28 electric bill over a $259 bill any day. I say weigh the options before you get rattled up and also take sometime to truly understand your installations mock bill policy. You can start by visiting http://www.ista-direct.com/IstaDirect%2DArmy/

Happy Mock Billing!



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

10 Comments on Did You Really Think Electric in Housing Was Gonna Stay Free???

  1. 28 isnt bad at all! my husband and i were going to move on post in ft riley but decided not to. our power bill in an apt 2 bedroom 2 bath is 80 a month which isnt bad either.

  2. I believe that military Families SHOULD be responsible for their electrical usage if it is extreme, and we should be refunded if we are under. BUT the ARMY should be much more responsible for the companies that they hire to maintain our housing and to monitor our energy usage. Here at FTCKY, it’s been a mess since the beginning…now they’ve switched companies, and we’re all even more confused. ESPECIALLY since we’ve been asking for explanations since last October and have just gotten an answer now. It hasn’t been explained well or maintained well.

    Part of the problem, too, is that even homes of the same era and the same layout are not maintained the same, therefore probably shouldn’t be billed the same. If you tell me that you can come out and do an audit to find out why my bill is so out of whack and then tell me that there’s nothing you can do about the energy loss (especially with the old appliances, old windows and BAD WIRING), than I shouldn’t be required to pay for your bad buildings and outdated appliances. Just sayin’…
    It would be different if we all lived in energy star homes, but we don’t.

    While we need to be responsible for our energy consumption, there has to be a way to meet in the middle.

    Just my opinion.

  3. It’s definately still cheaper than living off-post in a place of similar size. I know my husband is getting close to 900 a month for BAH at the moment and while we were apart for a while, he was able to live in a two bedroom town house that would absolutely not hold our entire family. In fact, that is part of why we were apart, not enough space while we wait for housing. That being said, he was breaking even or some months going over the amount for BAH between rent, electric, trash, and water. It all adds up faster than a lot of people living on base realize. To get a place the right size for our family off base, our BAH would be more than used up in rent alone and then most places do not include heating/cooling, electric, water, sewage and trash. It is definately worth the whole $30 extra a month if you go over than to have to pay all those bills.

  4. My complaint is that they want us to pay these bills on houses that are energy inefficient. If the government would stop just going with the lowest bidder on these contracts, they’d save themselves a lot of time, hassle and money long term. I know it’s not their fault that our allergies are so bad that there are very few days I don’t have my ac or heat running in some capacity because I can’t open the windows, but they could at least put in energy efficient materials. If I get into new housing and I can hear the wind blow through my house like I can now in the old housing, we’re going to have issues. I’m not wasting our money because they didn’t do the job right in the first place.

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