SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Utility billing at Island Palm Communities began nearly a year ago.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii leadership continues to work with IPC to ensure Soldiers and families are achieving the maximum benefit from the Department of Defense's utility consumption program.

"The number of families receiving a rebate has continued to increase, and we've seen a measurable reduction in our families' energy consumption," said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. "These are two important objectives of the DOD program, and I'm proud to see our families making a tremendous effort to conserve."

During the past 18 months, data from all home profiles has been collected and analyzed. As a result, homes with the same floor plan will now be in the same profile. Previously, homes with the same floor plan, but built in a reversed or flopped layout, were in a separate profile.

"We found in our analysis that a reverse floor plan didn't impact energy consumption," said Tom Adams, director, Property Management. "The benefit of putting these homes together is that profiles will have more homes in them, which results in a monthly average that better represents the energy consumption of IPC families."

All other profile criteria remain the same:
•Neighborhood (North or South Region),
•Square footage,
•Number of bedrooms, and
•New home versus existing home.

A handful of homes currently in profiles with less than 20 homes will be combined. Three of the criteria listed above will apply when re-grouping them into a profile; the difference is the square footage of homes may vary by about 10 percent.

"This very small variation in the size of a home doesn't make a measurable impact on energy consumption," Adams said. "Being in a profile with more homes is advantageous to families that will have a better chance of having their consumption being close to the average."

The re-grouping of home profiles will be reflected in energy consumption statements mailed June 20, and the home profile residents belong to will also be identified in the statement.

Water heater settings to help reduce energy

To help families reduce their monthly energy consumption, IPC will re-set water heater timers and adjust water temperatures in all homes. Water temperatures will be set to 120 degrees, as recommended by the Department of Energy.

Timers will be set to turn on during high-demand periods. Timers on an 80-gallon tank will be on from 5-8.30 a.m. and 5-8.30 p.m. Timers on 120-gallon tanks will be on from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. on 120-gallon tanks.

By making these adjustments, IPC projects families will save 1.23 million kilowatts annually.

Town halls to discuss utility billing, profile changes

In response to questions from residents surrounding the DOD utility program during USAG-Hawaii's recent Facebook Town Hall, USAG-HI and IPC will host two town halls.

Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI, and IPC and utility billing company ista representatives, will answer questions about the program. Meeting details follow:

June 27, 6-7:30 p.m., Aliamanu Military Reservation Chapel, Activity Room B, AMR Chapel, and

June 28, 6-7:30 p.m., Schofield Barracks Chapel, Annex Room #212, Schofield Chapel.

Residents can submit their questions and concerns before the meetings to Questions surrounding the re-grouping of profiles should be addressed to ista's Customer Service Department at (800) 569-3014.