Fort Knox, Ky. — Fort Knox is lighting the way once again at the Department of Energy.For a second consecutive year, members of the Fort Knox Directorate of Public Works’ energy team captured the spotlight at the 2020 Federal Energy Management Program Awards for its 2019 Interior Lighting Campaign.“This is another example of having the best energy team in the Department of Defense,” said RJ Dyrdek, Fort Knox DPW Energy Program manager. “We’ve been able to win back-to-back Secretary of Army awards. Now, this is back-to-back wins at the Department of Energy. We’re competing all over the government.”Dyrdek said the award highlighted a partnership with a contractor that has saved U.S. taxpayers over $26.4 million, amounting to an annual savings of 118,000 million-Btu’s in natural gas and 50 million gallons of water. This is coupled with the installation’s annual savings from low-cost electricity, free water, and over $270 million from previous energy projects.The measures that led to the award included reprogramming existing HVAC controls in 200 buildings across the installation, installing building automation systems in 31 buildings and connecting them to the existing system, replacing more than 50,000 lights with LED lighting and occupancy controls, and replacing 8,000 faucets and showerheads with low-flow models.“Fort Knox has continued to build upon the Energy Savings Performance Contract’s success by developing additional project phases, the second of which is already in construction and projected for completion this year,” states the nomination packet.Dyrdek attributed the team’s success to the support he and the others feel from not only Fort Knox’s leadership but even from those outside the gates, including members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.“Continuing to win awards is just showing how the team here at Fort Knox is all pulling together when it comes to energy conservation and savings,” said Dyrdek. “It’s not a one-man show.”Dyrdek said there are many installations that have energy teams with great ideas but it takes buy in from leadership to make them a reality.“In recognizing what my other peers do as energy managers, it’s clearly vitally important to have senior leader backing,” said Dyrdek. “We have that and more. We’re actually getting pushed. Our senior management regularly says, ‘Keep going. Work harder.’”That consistent encouragement makes all the difference, according to Dyrdek.“Never at any time have they been hurdles to overcome, which a lot of my co-workers as energy managers face. They might have the best idea in the world but they can’t get it past the Garrison, or they can’t get it past the commanding general,” said Dyrdek. “When your command team doesn’t support these activities, it’s hard to succeed.“We have a whole team effort from top to bottom.”Dyrdek said he and his team have no intentions of stopping.“We have a couple of planned projects up our sleeves,” said Dyrdek, “so we hope to continue to win more awards.”