Everyone plays role in reducing POM energy use
CFL bulbs account for a quarter of new sales, and each of these contains up to 5 milligrams of mercury. Mercury is a poison and neurotoxin, and one of the worst environmental contaminants. Several states, including California, require fluorescent lights to be recycled for all households and businesses.

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - "Nothing will work, but everything might."

Though these enigmatic words by author Clay Shirky were about the print media businesses struggling to adapt in the internet age, they ring equally true for current energy and water challenges.

Prices will continue to climb as the Army enters its new fiscal reality. Utility use at the Presidio alone neared $6 million last year.

So, while acknowledging that there are no silver bullet solutions, Presidio of Monterey Public Works and the Presidio Municipal Services Agency maintenance staff continue working to reduce costs and energy use through a variety of targeted conservation projects having a combined result of measureable progress.

The Presidio's energy intensity (energy consumption per square foot) has gone down by almost 5 percent average per year over the last three years. For reference, the Army goal is 3 percent per year. The post has achieved that through a number of electrical, gas and water conservation projects, including:

•A 370 kilowatt solar array on the roof of Price Fitness Center projected to save about $65,000 per year in electric costs,
•Hundreds of sidewalk, parking, bollard and exterior building lighting change-outs that double efficiency saving an estimated $30,000 per year,
•Roof and ceiling insulation that minimizes heat loss across aging facilities,
•Heating, ventilation and air conditioning retrofits to remove costly pneumatic controls systems and optimize heating and ventilation operations,
•An Energy Management Control System to monitor HVAC systems and ensure efficient building control,
•Heat recovery ventilation systems that capture waste heat from buildings for reuse in comfort heating,
•Several boiler and furnace replacements to provide adequate heating with high efficiency heating equipment,
•Programmable thermostats to ensure heating modes match occupancy schedules, and
•Dual flush and waterless urinals that save millions of gallons annually in precious fresh water.

Yet despite these technological solutions, the Presidio's success still will rely heavily on the simple everyday actions people take.

For example, the most efficient furnace on Earth will still be throwing energy and money out the window (yes, there's a pun) when left open during heating hours. The same thing goes for lighting empty rooms and using dual-flush toilets improperly.

To best facilitate this unified front on energy and water conservation, the Presidio is rolling out several programs and initiatives at POM. Program leaders will keep people posted on these programs as they come on line. The Presidio planners want to create a culture of energy conservation and innovation here at the Presidio and need everyone's help to do that.

Page last updated Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 00:00