Establishing an Ethos of Energy Conservation

By Ms. Anne Davis,
Deputy Commander, Navy Installations Command

Energy conservation is important to me and critical to our Navy. Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is initiating this blog and using mediums like BRITE’s (the Navy’s Shore Energy Conservation mascot) social media sites (www.facebook.com/navybrite and www.twitter.com/navybrite) to get the word out and influence the Navy’s energy consumption culture. I want you to play a role in conserving energy in our Navy. Get your story out or participate in our conversation by “liking” Navy BRITE on Facebook or following him on Twitter today.

Energy is the single largest cost for our installations. Energy bills consume about 28% of our annual shore budget. The Navy is embarked on an aggressive approach to shore energy management to meet the aggressive energy conservation goals set by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).  When our energy rates or consumption increases, we are forced to cut back elsewhere. Ultimately, there are only two places we can go to get the funding for these “must pay bills” — operations and training.  SECNAV said it best.  When energy costs go up, “you fly less, you steam less, Marines go to the field less. Or, if the bill gets big enough, you have to start taking it out of platforms.” The Navy must reduce our energy costs to free up scarce budget dollars to support training and fleet operations. Energy consumption reduction is a strategic imperative!

The new Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest state-of-the-art bachelor enlisted quarters facility at Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island. The facility features energy and environmentally friendly designs such as a roof with solar electricity generation and wind power generation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro/Released)

The new Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest state-of-the-art bachelor enlisted quarters facility at Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island. The facility features energy and environmentally friendly designs such as a roof with solar electricity generation and wind power generation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro/Released)

 

SECNAV set goals for the Navy Shore Energy Program to reduce our shore energy by 50% by 2020, while providing reliable energy for Navy critical assets. These targets require the reduction of shore energy consumption by 50% and require production of at least 50% of shore based energy requirements from alternative sources. Working with our Naval Facilities Engineering Command partners, I intend for us to meet this goal.

Initial results of our energy conservation program are impressive. The Navy has reduced shore energy consumption by 19% since 2003 and currently produces or consumes 23% of shore energy from renewable sources. In addition, non-tactical vehicle (NTV) petroleum consumption is down more than 20% since 2005. These savings are equal to 83,000 flight hours for an F/A-18 Hornet or 3,000 days at sea for a DDG 51 destroyer.

I am further encouraged by the energy conservation best practices that are taking place at bases across the Navy shore enterprise. Below are a couple of highlights

Night Audits:  Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South Public Works Department conducted a night audit of base buildings that resulted in energy awareness and savings programs that could total more than $100K in savings over the fiscal year. The audit’s purpose was three-fold: overnight energy awareness, Building Energy Monitor (BEM) accountability, and decreased energy usage. The night audits were instrumental in bringing energy awareness to the forefront of tenant commands and our CNIC team. Some initiatives that came about as a result of the night time audits are: de-lamping the water tower-saved $1,000 over the fiscal year, installation of timers on lights and equipment: removing underutilized refrigerators. These savings may seem small, but if everyone followed this practice across the shore enterprise, the savings would add up quickly. NSA Mid-South saved 8.8% in energy from FY12 to FY13.  Bravo Zulu!

Reduce Excess Footprint: Through aggressive consolidation efforts and work with a “Space Allocation Committee”, NAS Key West identified more than 52,000 square feet of excess space. To date, 25000 square feet was vacated and power removed, with the other 25,000 square feet expected to be cleared by the end of FY14.  This divestiture will result in an estimated minimum saving of $150,000 to $200,000 in annual electric costs beginning this fiscal year.  Less is more!

Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Kerik Vargas switches his lights to high efficient light bulbs as part of an energy conservation initiative at Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH). CNRH and Forest City are partnering to spread awareness of energy conservation to Navy housing residents in Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico/Released)

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Kerik Vargas switches his lights to high efficient light bulbs as part of an energy conservation initiative at Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH). CNRH and Forest City are partnering to spread awareness of energy conservation to Navy housing residents in Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico/Released)

 

While there are a lot of great things going on in our shore energy program, we need to do a lot more. The Navy’s energy conservation effort is both a challenge and an opportunity. The workplace accounts for most of the energy use at our Navy installations and it offers a unique opportunity for people to make a significant impact on conservation by putting into practice some of the following energy saving actions:

•  Turn off lights, computers, monitors and non-computing equipment when not in use
•  Use natural lighting when possible
•  When working late, use task lighting
•  Wear seasonally appropriate clothing
•  Always use the second side of the paper

Energy-efficiency techniques as mentioned above remain the cheapest and quickest way to save energy. They should be pursued aggressively on a daily basis. Workers must take time to review their routines to conserve energy in our buildings; it’s what the occupants do when they’re at work matters. Every dollar saved on energy is a dollar that can be spent on operations and training.

I look forward to continuing this conversation on energy throughout the year and if you have a best energy conservation practice please share it with us at energy@cnichq.org.

Thanks for all you do for the shore enterprise.