Commentary

April 11, 2014

Your BAH at work

Dawn Davis-Spector
99th Civil Engineer Squadron

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Nellis Family Housing provides military families a quality home environment and amenities including a pool, playgrounds, community center, and fitness center for the enjoyment of the residents.

The basic allowance for housing you transfer monthly covers rent, security patrols, fire protection, community amenities, as well as a monthly utility allocation. This is in line with the Air Force’s program in which military members and their families are responsible for the utilities they consume and are encouraged to be more conscious of their impact on the environment.

The Utility Allowance is intended to cover the cost of utilities (excluding water, sewer and refuse collection). Every month, a portion of the BAH is allocated for utilities. In accordance with headquarters guidance, Nellis AFB has streamlined the Utility Allowance process and implemented Seasonal Utility Billing for 2014.

Under seasonal utility billing, each resident is provided a monthly utility allowance which varies to more accurately match the seasonal changes in weather. For example: residents will receive a lower UA in the mild months where they are projected to use less utilities, typically October through May, and receive higher UA during high use months, typically June through September.
Residents who consume energy more conservatively than their peers will earn a rebate, while those residents who use more than the average will be billed for above average consumption.

A couple of key points about the seasonal UA:

  • The UA Program does not eliminate out-of-pocket utility expenses for all service members
  • UA is calculated annually and derived by taking the average usage, same or similar floor plans are grouped together, multiplied by applicable utility rates and a 10 percent buffer is added to account for anomalies. Total of the annual UA is broken out into seasonal factors or percent which are determined by calculating the varying average monthly consumption divided by total consumption of the year to come up with a percentage based monthly UA.
  • Over consumption of UA will cost out-of-pocket expenses for the difference between allowance and actual consumption.
  • Under consumption of UA will grant a credit rebate equal to the amount not used.
  • Nellis Family Housing will continue to use Minol as the third-party utility billing company to provide monthly statements. Residents will be able to access their accounts online anytime.

Each year the UA amounts are approved by base leadership. The 2014 rates did decrease on average for all house types by 11 percent from 2013. Major contributing factors to the overall rate decrease are conservation efforts by the residents, a decrease in utility rates and a customer charge per resident was removed.

Minol began implementing the new 2014 UA and the new amounts were reflected in January’s statement. January’s statements were delayed until March to properly account for the new seasonal UA.

Though January bills were not received until March, Nellis Family Housing and Minol are making all efforts to ensure that statements are sent out to residents in a timely manner going forward.

For more information please call (702) 652-9220.




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