Command buildings begin quest for Energy Cup
May 16, 2014
- "The whole of post has to get behind us, because energy conservation is everybody's business."- Rick McCoy, Fort Campbell Garrison energy manager
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Few things will light a fire under an important cause better than the introduction of healthy competition. As such, the energy and utilities branch of Fort Campbell's Directorate of Public Works have started the 14 installation command buildings on a pilot energy conservation program that will determine who wins the first-ever Commander's Energy Cup.
For six months, the commands will compete against each other, trying to earn top recognition for energy reduction. Each building has been equipped with a 32-inch monitor that serves as an "energy dashboard," allowing occupants to monitor usage and progress. On Oct. 31, the garrison commander will present the cup to the command that has shown the greatest percentage reduction.
"We'll be sending out report cards monthly," said Rick McCoy, Garrison energy manager. "There will be incentives, rewards, for the group that does the best."
In addition to the dashboards, each building has been assigned a building energy monitor to provide education and assistance to the occupants throughout the competition.
"The building energy monitors are trained in energy conservation," said McCoy. "They know where to look for problems, and what to look for."
At the DPW building, activity is monitored at a unified Utilities Command Center.
"It brings our utility monitoring under control at one common point," said McCoy. "It allows us to view energy use, equipment conditions, etc."
Meanwhile, building occupants are doing their part by enabling the usual conservation behaviors such as turning off unnecessary lights, unplugging electrical devices that are not in use and choosing only appliances branded with the Energy Star stamp of approval.
"The ones who do the best job will see the biggest reductions -- and those are the ones who are going to win the cup," said McCoy.
McCoy explained that the decision to start small -- with just command group participation -- was in order to use the knowledge gleaned from the initial run to streamline the second phase of the program -- branching out involvement and participation.
"The goal is to take this model and apply it to about 500 facilities total in the end," he said. "Next year we should be up to 200 buildings. We want to pull as much of the workforce into the challenge as we can."
With competitions like the Commander's Energy Cup in place, McCoy hopes there will be an increased focus on conservation and energy awareness -- a key component in making sure the installation falls into compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Executive Order 13423, which calls for a 30 percent decrease in energy consumption by the end of next year.
"We have got to tighten our belts to get back to the mandates," McCoy said. "We do it by applying new technologies like efficient air conditioning units and putting up more efficient buildings. But we know it doesn't do any good to put the energy efficiencies in if occupants aren't going to do the right thing."
McCoy encourages employees to report issues to DPW in order to have them addressed effectively. Keeping the lines of communication open is the best way to ensure that a limited workforce is put to its best use among the 1,500 facilities in its charge.
"We can't do it by ourselves -- we have to have help," said McCoy. "The whole of post has to get behind us, because energy conservation is everybody's business."