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. For more information about the Army Reserve and its sustainability programs, visit usar.army.mil or usarsustainability.com. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/USARSustainability and follow us on Twitter @USARGoGreen.