With a renewed emphasis on energy issues throughout the nation, this is a very exciting time at the Directorate of Public Works.

"The Aberdeen Proving Ground Garrison is working hard to implement President Barrack Obama's ambitious challenge to increase investment in renewable energy and reduce dependence on foreign oil, which in turn will help APG meet the federal government's energy goals," said Don Juhasz, chief of Army Energy Policy. "APG has the opportunity to lead the nation by example, and the DPW is committed to helping all missions rise to this challenge."

Last fall the DPW started a process to strengthen its capacity to work with and support on-post missions by instituting the Senior Level Energy Champion Team.

The role of the Senior Mission Energy Champion is to lead the command's implementation of the energy strategy with support from the DPW. The Energy Champions recently gathered at the garrison headquarters for an update on the Army Energy Program and APG's Energy Program.

"The Army's Energy Program is a comprehensive strategy to reduce Army energy consumption, increase efficiency, reduce it's environmental impact, and to promote energy security by expanding the development of renewable energy," Juhasz said during the Army Energy Program briefing.

"Energy Security means ensuring the Army is capable of performing its mission regardless of failure of the commercial power grid or interruptions of fuel supplies," Juhasz said. "The Army's future plans for power and fuel at home, overseas and on the battlefield must account for such challenges."

While briefing the APG Energy Program, members of the Garrison Energy Team reviewed the garrison's goals, reemphasized the measures that have been undertaken to accomplish about 75 percent of the energy reduction goal, but stressed the remaining effort must come from changes in the ways energy is used on APG. "All APG personnel must actively participate in energy conservation in order to succeed," Juhasz said.

One of the chief ways APG has reached that 75 percent plateau is by using an Energy Savings Performance Contract contract vehicle, he continued.

APG has partnered with Johnson Controls Inc. to implement a number of energy conservation measures, including boiler plant improvements, HVAC improvements, steam distribution rehabilitation, electrical transformer replacement, high efficiency lighting, and lighting controls. As a financing tool, in an ESPC, the up-front and recurring costs are paid from the annual savings that the project generates. Furthermore, in installing the ECMs, Johnson takes on operating and maintenance duties to guarantee those savings.

At the workshop, Steven Weber, a project development engineer for Johnson Controls, spoke on Johnson's behalf.

"With rising energy costs and expanding federal requirements to reduce building energy consumption, agencies must consider options to finance sustainable energy projects," Weber said. "By taking advantage of contracting vehicles such as ESPCs, federal agencies have the ability to achieve cutting edge sustainability."

In addition to the aforementioned ESPC projects, the garrison is also working with JCI to fund an expanded 'Waste to Energy' plant. If completed, this larger plant would absorb waste from Harford and Baltimore counties and provide steam and electric to APG.

Also in the works is a cooperative effort with the Department of Energy to use hydrogen fuel cells for backup generation.

"I am proud of the progress the Energy Team has already made," said post Energy Manager Anh Dang. "And, I look forward to a strong collaborative relationship with the champions to help us all meet the escalating challenges we face on post.

"The Energy Team welcomes your comments and suggestions as we continue to work toward improving our processes and support to ensure the success of the garrison. Together we will demonstrate that APG is serious about improving our nation's energy security and reducing our environmental footprint," Dang said.