FORT KNOX, Ky. — Fort Knox’s Energy Team has done it again.The Directorate of Public Works organization is celebrating another award, adding to the more than 15 previous accolades in recent years.Called the Association of Energy Engineers Region III Energy Project of the Year, the latest award was given for “completing a comprehensive, high-impact ESPC project that saves the Army over $2.3 million in annual operational spending … and $240 million of previous energy savings projects,” according to the write-up from AEE.R.J. Dyrdek, Energy Program manager, said this particular award adds an extra special notch on their belt.“We won in the public-domain,” said Dyrdek. “The region which we live in has General Motors assembly plants, Toyota assembly plants; we have UPS headquarters here, so we weren’t competing against Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines like we do in normal Department of Defense awards or Federal Energy Management Program awards from the Department of Energy.“This was won competing with the public sector, and putting us in a unique position to see where we stack up with everyone else. It was really nice to get that award.”In a recorded acceptance speech sent forward to award officials, Maj. Gen. John Evans Jr., commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, said he is proud of the team for their continued accomplishments.“There’s no doubt that great work is happening in many places, so we’re all the more privileged to have been selected,” said Evans.Evans said Fort Knox is one of several locations across the Department of Defense making strides to save on energy costs in an effort to save taxpayer dollars and sustain the environment.“Significant efforts are being made across the force to reduce our energy footprints, harness energy savings for other critical military priorities, become energy independent and, ultimately, achieve energy security,” said Evans. “Simply put, the Department of Defense can’t afford to have a bad day.”Dyrdek said the majority of the cost savings and improvements to the installation was done by replacing outdated incandescent and fluorescent lighting with state-of-the-art LED lighting in virtually every building at the post — a total of more than 40,000 fixtures.“Over 16,000 fixtures in one building alone were retrofitted with LEDs,” said Dyrdek. “Data center controls were changed, geothermal heat pumps were modified, and even simple things like adding water faucet aerators that change the amount of volume of water that goes through either a sink or showerhead. That sounds silly, but when you look at the scale that Fort Knox does it, it equated to 50 million gallons of water a year.”Dyrdek said oftentimes it’s the little changes that can add up to the biggest cost savings.“Once you realize how big and how many places we consume energy, whether it be natural gas, electricity, or in some cases hot water, it becomes a big deal,” said Dyrdek.Dyrdek said the greatest reward is knowing that his engineers, amid financial and regulatory constraints, continue to raise the bar.“Here at Fort Knox we’re doing the same things that they are,” said Dyrdek, “and we can compete with them.”