USMC Life was the first media organization to report on the outrageous hike in electricity bills affecting Camp Pendleton military families.
Earlier this month, several families living on base received a huge spike in Yes Energy bills and asked for help looking into why they had such a dramatic rate increase. They were later given notices with the threat of eviction if they didn’t pay them within 3 days, even if the bills were wrong, by Lincoln Military Housing.
The bills racked up were several hundred dollars a month, but those families lived in homes with no air-conditioning, and most of them were away from home all day at work. It just doesn’t add up.
“We’re pushing hard… to get the Department of Defense to get it right and get the money back to these individuals,” Congressman Issa told KUSI News.
Camp Pendleton base officials are reviewing the claims and coordinating with Yes Energy, Lincoln Housing, and Hunt Communities says Carl Redding Jr., Communications Director for Marine Corps Installations West.
Issa is asking for military families to contact his office if they’ve faced problems with their base housing electricity bills by calling his office at 760-599-5000.
Redding Jr. says utility rates have not been increased and no eviction proceedings have occurred — contrary to claims by residents — and that the increase in electricity bills comes from the accumulation of multiple months of bills.
In fact, one military spouse blogger who lives aboard Camp Pendleton interviewed over 50 families affected by the problematic energy bills and received several comments from families residing at other bases with the same problems.
In her piece, she discusses the dramatic lengths families have resorted to in order to prevent those bills including shutting their breakers off before leaving home, using a laundromat instead of washing clothes inside their home, and showering at the gym.
“Housing officials continue to review housing areas, and are also conducting energy audits of those homes with higher than average usage to assist in helping residents lower their bills,” explained Redding.
However, base residents received notices stating that if they did not pay their Yes Energy bill, then Lincoln Housing would commence with the eviction process.
Congressman Issa released a statement on the issue:
“I take the concerns of our Marines and their families seriously. That’s why my office has responded to recent news reports and calls from constituents to our office on the electric bills at Pendleton by beginning a dialogue with the appropriate powers to ensure these disputes are resolved swiftly and that service members are not paying more than they ought to. So far, everyone has been responsive to our requests and we look forward to working with them to get the facts and resolve any remaining differences.”
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