Reaching net zero energy
June 22, 2011
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo., June 22, 2011 -- In my May M6 Sends, “Pitch in, save power,” I talked about energy conservation as part of our everyday lives and working toward a sustainable future. The bottom line is that smart energy saving initiatives and practices will not only save us money, it could save programs, jobs, or force structure as budgets decline.
Fort Leonard Wood is growing and the cost for energy is increasing. So, if we fail to conserve energy, we will be spending our already dwindling budget on energy instead of other things. This is why my energy goal for Fort Leonard Wood is to achieve net zero status by 2030, which basically means that we will produce as much energy as we will consume.
Our Directorate of Public Works is focused on meeting our energy demands and reducing our energy costs. I want to highlight just a few of many energy-saving initiatives that DPW is working for us.
We teamed up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct the Prime Power School, which is Fort Leonard Wood’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold building. USACE also picked two basic training complexes and an advanced individual training complex at Fort Leonard Wood for its 2030 Integration Project, a competition that challenges builders to design and construct a typical building to be net zero.
We will be working closely with USACE on these new facilities and will identify and leverage sustainable, cost effective principles into maintenance of existing facilities as well.
We are currently incorporating sustainable features into existing facilities through an Energy Saving Performance Contract. The ESPC provides third-party financing to conduct energy projects with the guarantee that a project’s cost will be paid for by the energy savings it produces.
Fort Leonard Wood’s ESPC projects have included the installation of specialized lighting, low consumption appliances and enhanced heating and air conditioning. Through these projects alone, we have saved more than $36 million.
In my career I’ve noticed that performance tends to improve with simple monitoring and I think this will hold true for energy usage. DPW has started installing metering systems across post that will give us specific visibility on energy usage in our facilities.
Once we have that visibility, I plan to have some healthy competition across units to drive energy usage downward. Get ready!
Energy conservation is a main effort this year and I need everyone to commit to getting after it with me. Turn off lights when you leave a room at home and at work. Shut down computers at the end of the day. Try adjusting thermostats to 68 degrees in the winter and 76 in the summer.
These small, simple changes can yield huge energy savings and cost benefits. Let’s all pitch in and do our part to save money spent on energy. We can use those funds for other important things like personnel, activities, and programs that support our current and future missions.
Thanks for all you do for our Army and our nation. Army Strong!