SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- To ease service members and their families into the Army-mandated and congressionally approved live utilities billing program, Island Palm Communities has implemented a 10-percent buffer above and below the rolling monthly baseline.

This buffer means that if energy consumption is 10-percent above or below the baseline, a bill won’t have to be paid nor will a rebate be issued.

IPC also implemented a $50 trigger that gives residents more time before they actually have to pay a bill. This trigger also reduces the number of times they pay a bill throughout the year.

“If the balance above or below the baseline is less than $50, the amount will be carried over to the next month with no payment or rebate owed,” said Tom Adams, director of property management, at IPC. “When the balance is $50 or more above or below the baseline, that’s when a payment is due or a rebate is issued.”

IPC began its live utility billing July 1 for families living in homes built after 2004.

To help ensure monthly baselines are determined fairly, homes are grouped into profiles using the following criteria:

Region (north or south, to adjust for differences in climate).
Square footage.
Number of bedrooms.
New or old construction.
Floor plan (single story, duplex, multiplex).

Each home in a profile is used to calculate the current month’s baseline. Homes that are vacant or not occupied for the entire month are removed from the calculation. Also, the highest and lowest 10 percent of users are removed. Once this process has been completed, the average energy consumption of remaining homes in the profile is considered the baseline.

The Army program is set up so that energy consumption up to the baseline is paid through the service member’s BAH allotment. Consumption above the average usage is the service member’s responsibility. In turn, if energy consumption is less than the calculated baseline, the service member will receive a rebate. 

-Track utility usage

Residents can log on to www.ista-direct.com to check their monthly statements and pay bills online. Residents who have questions or concerns about their monthly conservation statements or want to set up an appointment to conduct an energy audit, can contact ista’s customer service at (800) 569-3014, or email inquiries@ista-na.com.

Also, residents can sign up to view their daily energy consumption online. They can monitor how their daily habits might impact consumption and then make any necessary adjustments throughout the month. To sign up, visit www.esoems.com. Residents should have their energy consumption statement readily available, since information from it will be needed to sign up for the service.

Page last updated Mon July 25th, 2011 at 00:00