There has been a lot of talk about the Utility Allowance program and its current status. We hope to provide some clarity.
What is the Utility Program?
The Utility Allowance Program is a program developed and mandated by the Air Force for all bases and joint bases that are managed by the Air Force (such as JBER). This program was designed as part of a Department of Defense (DOD) directive which guided the branches of service to create programs that contributed to reduced energy consumption. Privatized housing partners, such as Aurora Military Housing are responsible for the implementation of the program, but are not allowed to alter, discontinue, or suspend the program without specific and direct guidance from the Air Force.
To date (on JBER-R alone) over the past two years, the program has successfully reduced overall energy consumption by nearly 30%.
So what’s going on with the program?
A few months ago, the Army temporarily suspended the program on all Army run installations. This suspension did and does not pertain to JBER nor does it pertain to Army residents living on JBER.
The current Nation Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has language that could lead to temporary or permanent suspension of the Utility Allowance programs in Military bases across the country.
At this point in time, the fate of the Air Force utility allowance program is still being determined in DC. Aurora Housing will comply with any guidance that comes from the Air Force, but at this time, have not received such guidance.
What should I do?
The NDAA is a complex law that authorizes (but does not appropriate funds for) military spending for the government fiscal year (which starts in October), and like many laws, it can take time for changes to be interpreted and implemented at the DOD and Federal level. Since any change to the program requires direction from the Air Force and Aurora has not received direction from the Air Force, we continue to advise residents to comply with the utility allowance program.
Any changes, or updates will be promptly shared as soon as we are made aware.