ARMY RESERVE REDUCES ENERGY USE INTENSITY IN FISCAL YEAR 2016

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

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.”

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ARMY RESERVE LEADS THE CHARGE TOWARD ENERGY SECURITY

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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

ARMY RESERVE WELL-REPRESENTED AT ENERGY EXCHANGE

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

What happens when some of the U.S. Army Reserve’s brightest minds converge? A lot of bright ideas are born. And, those bright ideas often go on to become innovative energy initiatives that conserve resources for the Department of Defense and support the military mission.

Directors of Public Works, Energy Managers, Resource Efficiency Managers and members of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) Energy Team descended on Providence, Rhode Island in August for the annual Federal government’s Energy Exchange.

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Energy Exchange is an educational forum that provides opportunities for energy professionals to learn more about energy management and sustainability in the Federal sector and to establish contacts with others in the field.

To commence the activities, ARIMD hosted the Army Reserve Energy Manager Training Workshop on Monday, August 8. At the event, Army Reserve representatives presented reports on Comprehensive Energy and Water Evaluations, assessments on metering and utility monitoring and briefs on a variety of energy projects. Ms. Judith Hudson, Chief of the Energy and Facility Policy Division at the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, and Ms. Kristine Kingery, Program Director at the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability, addressed the participants and discussed the importance of energy security and sustainability initiatives to the Army Reserve’s mission.

Throughout the following days, attendees enjoyed a trade show and sessions on topics such as integrated energy, sustainability planning, renewable energy, fleet management and project financing.

The Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, August 11. The 63rd Regional Support Command accepted honors for Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Small Group.

On Friday, Army Energy Managers gathered for the Department of Army Energy Manager Training Workshop to close the week.

Several Army Reserve delegates were among the presenters.

Mr. Anibal Negron, Chief of the Environmental Division at the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, shared his expertise on the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program to fund numerous energy conservation measures on the Installation. He also offered a progress report on Fort Buchanan’s efforts to achieve Net Zero energy, or to produce as much energy as the Installation consumes.

Mr. Greg Vallery, Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, discussed his Installation’s renewable energy projects and Net Zero initiatives.

Mr. Paul Wirt and Ms. Robin Robinson of ARIMD presented on the Utility Rates Analysis Study, which will determine the utility rate structures for all Army Reserve sites and identify opportunities to reduce expenditures.

“The Energy Exchange is an outstanding annual forum for Energy Managers across the country to participate on panels, share lessons learned and learn about the latest technologies,” said Wirt, Chief of Sustainability Programs at ARIMD. Wirt went on to emphasize the positive impacts that both the Department of the Army and the Army Reserve have had as a result of their sessions before and after the Energy Exchange. “We can really build a strong team when Army and Army Reserve energy and water professionals are able to meet face-to-face and discuss mutual challenges and opportunities to reduce our consumption and utility costs and to increase our energy resilience.”

63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND RECEIVES SECRETARY OF THE ARMY AWARD

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 63rd Regional Support Command (RSC) recently received the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Small Group.

The award celebrated a variety of innovative sustainability initiatives that saved energy, water and fiscal resources throughout the 63rd RSC, which includes the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In fiscal year 2015, conservation efforts saved 31.3 million British Thermal Units of energy, and they reduced water consumption by 38 percent when compared to fiscal year 2014. As a result, the 63rd RSC saved $583,503.

To decrease energy use, the 63rd RSC leveraged meters, renewable technologies and energy efficiency improvements. The Army Meter Data Management System monitored energy use at 74 facilities across the region. Solar arrays at March Armed Forces Reserve Center in California and Barnes Hall Army Reserve Center in Arizona produced 293,000 kilowatt hours of power in fiscal year 2015, and an award-winning lighting project in parking areas at Camp Pike, Arkansas reduced energy consumption by 85 percent at that site.

The 63rd RSC implemented various water conservation efforts as well. Improvements to plumbing increased water efficiency at multiple facilities, and drought tolerant, native plant landscapes – known as xeriscapes – reduced the need for irrigation at multiple Army Reserve sites in southern California.

Furthermore, the 63rd RSC Energy Team continued to educate its communities about conservation and its commitment to sustainability.

The Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards were presented at a special ceremony at the Federal government’s annual Energy Exchange in Providence, Rhode Island on August 11. Colonel Stewart Fearon, the 63rd RSC’s Director of Public Works, attended the event with Deputy Director of Public Works Mr. Keith Puschinsky; Operations Division Chief Mr. Mark Cutler; Energy Managers Mr. Rickey Johns, Mr. Hays Kinslow and Mr. Gerry McClelland; and Resource Efficiency Managers Mr. Brad Brown and Mr. Varun Sood.

The Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, hosted the ceremony and offered her gratitude to the honorees. “The Army is setting the standard for resource conservation – not only in the Department of Defense but in the Federal government,” Hammack said.

Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, also addressed the attendants and encouraged them to further their efforts. “What do you do when you achieve one goal?” she asked. “You set a new one.”

Johns said that the 63rd RSC’s accomplishments are truly the results of a dedicated team, and Command support has driven their success. “We’ve all heard that ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” he commented. “It takes a Command to build a viable energy program. At the 63rd RSC, we have a Command that supports our energy program.” He pointed to the strong presence of leadership at the ceremony as evidence of that support.

Johns and Kinslow also praised the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) for its steadfast encouragement of their program and its assistance with the award nomination. “With the help of the ARIMD Energy Team, the hard work of the 63rd RSC Energy Team and the great support of the 63rd RSC’s public works staff was recognized today,” Kinslow remarked.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this team,” Johns added. “I look forward to many more years with all of the Army Reserve family.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 63RD REGIONAL SUPPORT COMMAND

LET THERE BE LIGHT: ARMY RESERVE HONORED FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS

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The U.S. Army Reserve’s 9th Mission Support Command (MSC) and 99th Regional Support Command (RSC) have garnered accolades from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) 2016 Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) Awards.

Launched in May 2015 at the DOE Better Buildings Summit, the ILC is a recognition and guidance program designed to help facility owners and managers identify and implement savings opportunities from high efficiency interior lighting solutions. Currently, the Army Reserve is among 49 participants in the program that includes the 9th MSC, 63rd RSC, 81st RSC, 88th RSC and 99th RSC.

This year, thirteen agencies were recognized for outstanding performances in their applications of lighting systems. For their energy conservation and efficiency initiatives, both the 9th MSC and 99th RSC received awards for Exemplary Federal Government Sector Sites.

The 9th MSC’s award was for a lighting replacement project at the Army Reserve Center (ARC) in Guam. They replaced two-lamp (56 watt) and four-lamp (124 watt) fluorescent lights with 36 watt light emitting diodes (LEDs). The project reduced energy use by 62 percent and resulted in an estimated annual energy savings of 125,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), which could power 11 average homes in the United States.

As part of its Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), the 99th RSC replaced
three-lamp (86 watt) and four-lamp (108 watt) fluorescent lights with 46 watt and 61 watt LEDs at Technical Sergeant Vernon McGarity ARC in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. “While many sites in the 99th’s area of responsibility received LED upgrades under the ESPC, the McGarity ARC was one of the largest sites to receive an upgrade and thus was a good candidate to nominate for the award,” explained Mr. Justin Drigon, Energy Management Coordinator for the 99th RSC. The project saved 184,000 kWh for a total energy reduction of 51 percent.

The efforts of all of the ILC’s participants – which also include Target, The Cleveland Clinic and T-Mobile – have saved 130 million kWh and an impressive $13.5 million in the program’s first year, and the Army Reserve is proud to contribute.

“[The project] has reduced our energy consumption and ecological footprint as a whole,” said Ms. Christina Vicari, Energy Coordinator for the 9th MSC. Vicari said that the receipt of the award is very gratifying and demonstrates “that our efforts are making enough of an impact to be worthy of mention.”

“The accumulation of these efforts starts to take effect eventually,” Vicari continued. “Sometimes, you do not see the benefit or the result of all your efforts with all the time and effort that goes into these projects. The award is confirmation that the team here is making a noticeable difference in the 9th MSC’s overall energy strategy plan.”

Drigon agreed. “The award means a lot for the team here,” he said. “It is great to see that hard work and attention to detail pay off. [The award is] also something that the units at the McGarity ARC can take pride in as well. It is THEIR facility, and I’m sure it is a great point of pride to know that it has been recognized.”

Drigon went on to acknowledge the even broader impacts of the recognition. “I think the award will go a long way in helping the 99th RSC community, the Army Reserve community and even the active Army component understand the strides the Army Reserve is making in energy conservation,” he said.

For details about the Interior Lighting Campaign, visit interiorlightingcampaign.org.