Camp Pendleton Marines concerned with spike in electricity bills

OCEANSIDE (KUSI) — Camp Pendleton Marines and their families saw a spike in their electricity bills recently and some claim they are being threatened with eviction before Christmas if they don’t pay.

Marine families are facing electricity bills upwards of $500 a month, they say, despite the fact that many don’t have air conditioning and have asked Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-52) for help. Previously, families said, they paid nothing for years. 

"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 in conjunction with Yes Energy, Lincoln Housing and Hunt Communities, Carl Redding Jr., Communications Director for Marine Corps Installations West, said. Issa encourages anyone facing spikes in electricity bills to contact his office at (760)599-5000.Redding Jr. says utility rates have no 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. 

"Of the over 7500 homes on Camp Pendleton, two-thirds receive a rebate or pay nothing each month, Redding Jr. said. "The remaining homes pay on average $35 a month.

"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."

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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