FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Oct. 18, 2012) -- October is no longer just about being aware of energy conservation.

Renamed "Energy Action Month," October is now designated as a time to actively partake in energy conservation.

"The purpose of this month is education," said Assaf Dvir, energy manager for the Directorate of Public Works.

The Fort Meade campaign features an open house hosted by DPW to show the community and facility managers how the installation is taking action to help conserve energy and what the average person can do to make an impact.

The open house will continue Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at McGill Training Center.

"We've got two kinds of things going on," said Tony Karwoski, resource efficiency manager for DPW. "We have energy technology, then we have our load management display."

In a letter to the Army community, Army senior leaders said Energy Action Month is an opportunity for everyone to evaluate their daily energy and water usage, as the DoD is the largest consumer of energy in the country.

The letter was signed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III and Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.

"Overreliance on resources, fossil fuels and connections to vulnerable electric power grids jeopardizes Soldiers' lives, mission effectiveness and the continued viability of our installations," according to the letter. "Conservation, efficiency, sustainability, technology advancements and behavioral change are the pathways to creating an energy- and water-secure Army."

During the open house, a DPW staffer will be available to explain the solar projects and answer energy and conservation questions.

DPW encourages facility managers to visit the open house because they are the ones who can initiate effective change, Dvir said.

In addition to the permanent displays, the open house also features displays from rotating organizations including Picerne Military Housing, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., and American Water.

"It will be slightly different every time," Karwoski said.

The open house also showcases several projects that are helping conserve energy on post, including solar energy to power facilities.

"We have the largest solar terminal in the country right now at Gaffney [Fitness Center]," Karwoski said. "It's technology that was 20 years in the making."

The solar panels, installed on Gaffney's roof, delivers more than $7,000 per month in measured energy-cost savings. In addition, solar photo voltaic lighting was installed at the outdoor yards of two barracks at the Defense Information School and Youth Services.

"We're trying to make people aware and understand that we're using renewable energy," Dvir said.

It is expected that the $128,000 student barracks project and the $83,000 Youth Services project will return their investments in seven years.

"Green energy is also about saving green money," Karwoski said. "We're trying to use energy more efficiently, but we're also trying to save money and talk about energy economics."

For more information about Energy Action Month and ways you can reduce energy and water consumption, call 301-677-9569.

Page last updated Thu October 18th, 2012 at 00:00