ARMY RESERVE REDUCES ENERGY USE INTENSITY IN FISCAL YEAR 2016

light-switch

Energy touches nearly every aspect of the United States Army Reserve’s mission, from the electricity that powers our Army Reserve Centers to the fuel that powers our vehicles. To maintain readiness and adapt to a constantly evolving global presence, the Army Reserve is striving to conserve energy and other vital assets.

In fiscal year 2016, the Army Reserve proved its commitment to that goal.

According to the United States Army Reserve Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Energy Management Report, the Army Reserve achieved a 17.9 percent reduction in energy use intensity last year, compared to the fiscal year 2015 baseline. The reduction far exceeded a Federal goal of a 2.5 percent annual reduction in energy use intensity.

“The Army Reserve is a leader in the Department of Defense’s charge to save natural, fiscal and operational resources and to accomplish goals toward energy security,” said Paul Wirt, Chief of the Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch.

Nine of the ten Army Reserve-funded Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command reported a reduction in energy use intensity, and seven of those ten sites reported reductions of at least 12 percent.

Furthermore, the enterprise’s reduction in energy use intensity translated into a significant cost avoidance of $6.7 million in fiscal year 2016 – a cost equivalent to staging nine Army Reserve training exercises.

“If we can conserve energy in our facilities, we can ensure that our resources are directed to our most critical missions,” Wirt explained. “If we are reducing the energy consumption and cost for services such as lighting and heating, we can focus our efforts and attention on energy security and resilience for our facilities.”

Diverse initiatives throughout the enterprise contributed to the Army Reserve’s efforts to save energy, increase energy efficiency and reduce America’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels. For instance, the 99th Regional Support Command leveraged a portion of its Energy Savings Performance Contract to replace fluorescent lights with light emitting diodes at Technical Sergeant Vernon McGarity Army Reserve Center in Pennsylvania, where the improvements reduced energy consumption by 51 percent and conserved an estimated 184,000 kilowatt hours of energy. The Army Reserve implemented solar projects at the 9th Mission Support Command, the 88th Regional Support Command and Fort McCoy, contributing to the generation of 46.3 million British Thermal Units of renewable energy in fiscal year 2016. Fort Hunter Liggett used heat pump technologies and other holistic energy recovery opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of four Transient Training Enlisted barracks and push the Installation toward Net Zero, when it will produce as much energy as it consumes. In addition, the Army Reserve continued its endeavors to create an energy conscious culture among the Soldiers, Civilians and Families who are uniquely positioned to serve as stewards in the ranks of the Army as well as the ranks of their communities.

Wirt believes that the successes will continue to charge the Army Reserve’s Energy Program. “Last year’s achievements are remarkable,” he said. “They are inspiring our Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command to be even more ambitious and to expect even more robust results over the coming year. The Army Reserve is taking action to protect our energy resources because an energy secure Army Reserve is a resilient Army Reserve that is increasingly capable of accomplishing our mission today and into the future.”

Article by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Sustainability Programs

ARMY RESERVE LEADS THE CHARGE TOWARD ENERGY SECURITY

wind-turbines
According to the Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2016, the United States is one of the leading consumers of energy in the world, and the Federal government is the leading consumer of energy in the United States. Furthermore, the Department of Defense is the leading consumer of energy in the Federal government, and the Army is the leading consumer of installation energy in the Department of Defense. In fact, the Army consumes 34 percent of the Department of Defense’s installation energy at a cost of over $1.2 billion annually.

For the United States Army Reserve, energy touches almost every aspect of the mission. From the power required to operate its facilities to the fuel required to operate its vehicles, the Army Reserve’s battle rhythm – both at home and down range – is dependent upon this crucial asset. Without energy, life would come to a halt.

However, threats to energy are constantly on the rise. The increasing worldwide demands for energy, the political and economic instabilities in oil-producing regions, the impacts of attacks against oil infrastructure and the effects of natural disasters all endanger invaluable resources.

Since the Army Reserve has a global “bootprint,” energy crises across the world could create conflicts that have the potential to influence military objectives. Energy affects the welfare of our Soldiers, too. Fuel convoys are among the most dangerous duties for war fighters. The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) estimates that, historically, fuel and water transport missions are responsible for nearly ten percent of Army casualties in theater.

If a disruption of our vital energy supplies did occur, what would happen to the military, its infrastructure and its mission? Could the enterprise survive “off the grid?” The Army Reserve hopes that those questions will never need an answer. Nevertheless, the Army Reserve Energy Program is striving to ensure its energy security.

The International Energy Agency defines energy security as the “uninterrupted availability of energy at an affordable price.” For the Army Reserve, energy security also means that its Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command are ready to answer the nation’s call – even in the face of a local, national or global energy emergency.

To that end, the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate developed the Army Reserve Energy Security Implementation Strategy (ARESIS). The strategy creates a vision, mission and goals that, when accomplished, will ultimately achieve energy security for the enterprise.

The first ARESIS goal is to promote energy conservation, or the reduction of the Army Reserve’s energy use, to ensure that resources are resilient and that the enterprise directs supplies to the most critical aspects of missions. Education and awareness initiatives create an informed, conservation-minded culture of Soldiers, Civilians and Families.

The second ARESIS goal is to increase energy efficiency through diverse projects. For instance, several sites throughout the Army Reserve have significantly reduced their energy consumption – by as much as 85 percent – by replacing fluorescent lights with light emitting diodes. Over 780 meters monitor energy consumption at 410 Army Reserve facilities, thus allowing Energy Managers and project coordinators to identify trends in energy use and areas where energy efficiency can be improved. With automated controls for applications such as thermostats and lights, buildings are operating at their peak efficiencies.

The third ARESIS goal is to leverage alternative and renewable energy through solar, wind and other sources of clean power. As of the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, 62 Army Reserve renewable energy projects were reporting in the Army Energy and Water Reporting System (AEWRS). Two Reserve-funded installations – Fort Buchanan and Fort Hunter Liggett – are top performers in this area, generating 45.3 percent and 43.4 percent of their energy from renewable technologies, respectively.

The fourth ARESIS goal is to build a sustainable energy program foundation. The Army Reserve is engaging senior leaders in the development and deployment of energy policies, and it is building valuable partnerships with agencies that support sustainability within and beyond the fence lines. The Army Reserve is also securing human and financial capital. Energy Managers, Resource Efficiency Managers and Building Energy Monitors act as the “eyes” and “ears” of the Army Reserve Energy Program in the field. Energy professionals across the enterprise implement energy projects with appropriated funds from the Federal government and funds from third-party programs such as Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC), which pair Federal agencies with energy service companies. Agencies have used the ESPC contracting vehicle since 1998 to reduce energy costs and meet Executive Orders toward sustainability.

Moreover, the Army Reserve is pursuing Net Zero, or working to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of one year, at as many of its sites as economically feasible. Ten Army Reserve Centers and three Army Reserve-funded Installations (Fort Hunter Liggett, Fort Buchanan and Parks Reserve Forces Training Area) are actively pursuing this ambitious target.

Because of all of these initiatives, the Army Reserve as a whole reduced its energy use intensity (energy consumption divided by gross square footage) by nine percent in only one year, from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015. According to AEWRS data, this reduction in energy use intensity saved just over $2 million, or the equivalent to the level of funding required for two and a half additional Army Reserve training exercises.

The Army Reserve has already achieved many successes, but it will not simply rest on its past victories. Instead, it will continue to lead the Department of the Army’s charge toward energy-conscious communities and an energy-secure enterprise with a mission that endures – now and for generations to come.

DO YOUR PART FOR ARMY RESERVE ENERGY SECURITY

Extinguish lights in vacant rooms.

Use natural light where possible.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights or light emitting diodes to increase energy efficiency.

Power down computer monitors and peripherals at the end of each duty day.

Unplug electronics that are not in use for extended periods.

Use the “energy saver” modes on office copiers and printers.

When purchasing electronics or appliances, choose Energy Star models.

Set thermostats according to Unified Facilities Criteria 3 – 410 – 01: 68 degrees for occupied facilities during the heating season and 78 degrees for occupied facilities during the cooling season.

Close doors and windows to conditioned spaces.

Ensure that vents are unobstructed.

Change your air filters regularly to ensure that your climate control system operates at its peak efficiency.

Learn the Army Regulations regarding energy use in Federal facilities and adhere to them.

Be observant. If you notice energy waste or opportunities for energy conservation, contact your facility manager or Building Energy Monitor.

Talk to your Building Energy Monitor about practical or creative ways to save energy in your facility.

Practice energy conservation at the office and at home.

FOR MORE ENERGY CONSERVATION IDEAS …

ENERGY SAVER from the U.S. Department of Energy

GREEN GRILLING

Lump Charcoal

Firing up the grill this weekend? Did you know that your barbecue can be more sustainable? Here are some ideas for greener grilling …

BURN, BABY, BURN

Charcoal or propane: the ultimate grilling grudge match. What is more environmentally sound? With all of the factors considered, propane is more sustainable than charcoal.

Charcoal may be derived from natural and renewable resources, but it can contribute to deforestation. Charcoal briquettes often contain chemical additives and fillers that can infiltrate your food, stifle the air and leave a bad taste in your mouth – literally. Borax and sawdust … yum. (Not really.) A traditional charcoal grill also emits more harmful pollutants. While it is produced from finite resources, propane offers a cleaner burn.

If you are a charcoal fan, though, all is not lost. Lump charcoal is a healthier choice for you and the environment. Consider lump charcoal that is natural, carbon-neutral and certified by The Forest Stewardship Council.

Mesquite and raw wood chips certified by The Forest Stewardship Council and The Rainforest Alliance are other sources of sustainable fuel as well.

LIGHT MY FIRE

Come on, baby … light my fire – but not with lighter fluid. Lighter fluids also contain harmful chemicals that can seep into your food when they are burned. Try a chimney charcoal starter or electric charcoal starter to grill green.

(CUE AUSTRALIAN ACCENT) THROW ANOTHER SUSTAINABLY SOURCED SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE

WHAT you grill is just as important as HOW you grill. For a healthier and more environmentally sound barbecue, choose locally raised meats, sustainably sourced seafood and locally grown produce. You’ll support your local economy, reap the benefits of fresh food and reduce your environmental impacts.

TALKIN’ TRASH

At your barbecue, be sure to watch your wasteline. You read that correctly. Not your WAISTline. Your WASTEline. As Queen said, ‘don’t throw it all away!’ Choose reusable dinnerware instead of disposable dinnerware to reduce your waste. If you cannot use reusable dinnerware, then try recyclable, compostable or biodegradable dinnerware.

Recycle as much as possible, and use bio-based cleaners instead of chemical cleaners to tidy the grill.

FOR MORE INFORMATION …

How to Go Green Guide: Barbecues from TREEHUGGER

Green Grilling from MOTHER NATURE NETWORK

Your Guide to a Green Tailgate from JUST ENERGY

How to Use a Charcoal Chimney from THE GRILLING SPOT

Find a Farmer’s Market from LOCAL HARVEST

The Smart Seafood Buying Guide from NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

26 Genius Ways to Use Barbecue Leftovers from FOOD NETWORK

15 Things You Can Make With Barbecue Leftovers from BRIT + CO

TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY, EVERY DROP COUNTS

Water Drop for Blog

Water is essential for all life, but the quality of our water is equally essential for the health of our Earth and all its inhabitants.

Water quality describes the condition of water – mostly in regards to its suitability for a need or a purpose, such as consumption or recreation.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 40 percent of American waterways suffer water quality issues, largely due to pollution of some persuasion.

If our water is polluted, we cannot drink it. We cannot fish from it. We cannot swim in it. To do so would create serious public health concerns. Quite simply, water pollution – or a lack of water quality – can threaten life as we know it.

But, you can do your part to protect water quality.

ONLY RAIN IN THE DRAIN
Prevent chemicals, oil, vegetation and trash from entering storm drains, which often flow to sources from which municipalities draw potable water. Waste in storm drains can lead to pollution that could render water sources unfit for consumption and recreation.

DISCARD WASTES PROPERLY
Discard all wastes – municipal solid wastes, hazardous wastes, pet wastes – in proper receptacles to prevent them from entering water sources.

REDUCE YOUR USE OF CHEMICALS ON YOUR LAWN AND IN YOUR GARDEN
Pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers can penetrate ground water sources and cause water pollution. Consider natural pest management practices and organic fertilizers to prevent chemicals from infiltrating the aquifer.

CHOOSE BIO-BASED CLEANERS INSTEAD OF CHEMICAL-BASED CLEANERS
Chemicals from cleaners can travel from your household drains to municipal water supplies and recreational water sources. Choose plant-based cleaners to prevent the proliferation of chemicals in water.

DISCARD PRESCRIPTION DRUGS PROPERLY
An investigation by The Associated Press discovered that trace chemicals from prescription drugs can be found in the water supplies of over 40 million Americans. Do not discard prescription drugs in a sink or a toilet. Instead, surrender them to a law enforcement agency or a take-back program. If those options are not feasible, place prescription drugs in your household waste.

PUT FOG IN ITS PLACE
No, not fog. FOG. Fat, oil and grease. These substances can clog water pipes and cause significant, expensive damage to water infrastructure and the environment. Do not pour fat, oil or grease down a drain. Instead, pour it into a sealable container and place the container in your household waste. Or, find an oil recycling program near you.

FOR MORE INFORMATION …

Protecting Water Quality from the Environmental Protection Agency

Protecting Water Quality in Urban Areas from Environmental Protection Agency

Ideas for Organic Gardening and Pest Control from Sustainable Baby Steps

Guide to Healthy Cleaning from the Environmental Working Group

Drug Disposal Information from the Drug Enforcement Administration

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative

Dispose My Meds

Find a Recycling Center Near You

 

 

 

XERISCAPING PROJECTS SAVE WATER DESPITE DROUGHT AT 63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND

Drought Tolerant Plants
In the 1746 edition of “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” American statesman Benjamin Franklin wrote, “When the well is dry, we will know the worth of water.” The U.S. Army Reserve knows the worth of water. In fact, the success of every mission depends on it. At some sites, though, drought is turning water into a limited resource and conservation into a necessity.

The 63rd Regional Support Command (RSC) has found a practical way to combat the drought and reduce water consumption with some unique landscaping projects.

“Water conservation projects were, and are, necessary due to the water use observed at many sites,” said Varun Sood, a resource efficiency manager for the 63rd RSC. Many facilities in the Command– which includes the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas – are located in arid geographic areas that continuously experience drought and water scarcity, resulting in high water bills and a lack of water security that threatens to disrupt readiness.

“We want to reduce our total water consumption,” said Sood. To that end, the 63rd RSC added xeriscaping to conservation efforts.

Xeriscaping is the practice of landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation. Originally developed for drought-afflicted areas, the principles of xeriscaping have a broadening appeal as a result of their many benefits.

Typically, xeriscapes have features that are less water intensive such as stone ground covers and native plants, which are plants that have naturally occurred in a particular habitat over time, with no human intervention. Native plants are well adapted to an area’s unique climate and environmental characteristics such as its water availability, soil composition and indigenous insects. Xeriscapes therefore require less water, fewer fertilizers and fewer pesticides. As a result, these designs have the long-term potential to conserve water, prevent chemical pollution and save money. Hays Kinslow, an energy manager with the 63rd RSC, said that xeriscapes also improve the aesthetics of their sites and reduce the need for water infrastructure and grounds maintenance.

Over the past two years, xeriscapes have been completed in California at Los Alamitos Reserve Center in Los Alamitos, Holderman Hall Reserve Center in Los Angeles and Bell Reserve Center in Bell Gardens. “They are large facilities where we could make a big impact due to the amount of water used there for irrigation,” Sood explained. Currently, another xeriscape is planned for Leymel Hall Reserve Center in Fresno, and the 63rd RSC is exploring ways to incorporate xeriscaping in future projects.

According to Sood, all of the 63rd RSC’s projects include plants native to California, stone ground covers, drip irrigation systems and other features of a traditional xeric garden.

When xeriscapes have been combined with additional water conservation methods, such as plumbing improvements, the results have been quite impressive. The 63rd RSC has reduced its water use by nearly 38 percent from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015. “Xeriscape projects have reduced the need for irrigation and have definitely contributed to a reduction in water use at our sites,” said Sood.

With their innovative ideas for landscapes that work with the environmental conditions at their sites, the 63rd RSC is contributing to a culture of conservation across the Army Reserve, and they are making every drop count.

READ MORE ABOUT XERISCAPING

Seven Principles of Xeriscaping

Xeriscape from Sustainable Sources

Xeriscape Ideas from The Landscaping Network

Find Native Plants

TRAVELING GREEN

Bike Route

Whether you are jet-setting to an exotic destination or enjoying a traditional road trip, you can travel with resource conservation in mind.

CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT WHEN YOU CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION

Book your travel to a locale that is conscious of and responsible about conserving its environment, preserving the welfare of its indigenous residents and providing opportunities for interpretation and education for its visitors.

Travel with an intention to be more aware of the environment and reduce your impact on the Earth.

CONSERVE RESOURCES BEFORE YOU LEAVE

You can be sustainable at home – even when you’re away! Extinguish your lights or set them on a timer. Power down and unplug all unneeded electronics to prevent ‘phantom load,’ and adjust your thermostat to save energy.

GET FROM POINT A TO POINT B – THE GREEN WAY

If you are traveling by air, research airlines and choose the most sustainable option. Also, select the most direct route available to your destination.

If you are traveling on the road, make sure that your vehicle is in its most sustainable shape. Change your oil, and inflate your tires properly. Remove the ‘junk from your trunk’ to reduce vehicle weight, and avoid the use of roof bins to make your vehicle more aerodynamic. All of these actions can improve your gas mileage, which can save both fuel and money.

STAY AS YOU LIVE

When you arrive at your hotel, make an effort to conserve resources there as you would at home. Extinguish the lights when you leave the room. Keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature. Save water by reusing bed linens and towels and by shortening your shower. Recycle your waste.

SEE THE SIGHTS SUSTAINABLY

If you are traveling to a walkable city, use the most sustainable form of transportation – your own two feet! Or, considering cycling to travel around your destination.

If you have to travel long distances to visit the attractions at your destination, try a tour or mass transit. You will probably travel with a guide or a local who can tell you more about the area.

TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL, NOT A TOURIST

Learn about the local history, culture and customs of your vacation destination, and respect local traditions.

Support the economy of your destination by dining and shopping at independently-owned restaurants and businesses.

Instead of purchasing mass-produced souvenirs, choose hand-crafted goods from local artisans and craftsmen.

Purchase only goods that have been sustainably and legally traded – especially if they are animal- or plant-derived goods.

RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT OF YOUR DESTINATION

Follow the ‘leave no trace’ philosophy of travel.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION …

Ecotourism Guidelines for Travelers from Untamed Path

The International Ecotourism Society

What is Ecotourism and Why Should You Care from The Nature Conservancy

Go Green Travel Green

Responsible Travel Report from Sustainable Travel International

The Responsible Traveler’s Guide from Sustainable Tourism

How to Go Green When You Travel from Lonely Planet

Green Travel Tips from Independent Traveler

 

The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by the Army Reserve.
They are for informational purposes only.