October is Energy Action Month

By Bill LucasOctober 7, 2022

The Army observes Energy Action month each October and the theme this year is Energy Resilience, Affordability and Efficiency. Energy Resilience is defined as “the ability to anticipate, prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to and recover rapidly from utility disruptions.” This concept begins at the installation level where critical missions are planned and organized. The Army is focused on assuring access to energy by implementing policies and energy projects that add reliable, diverse and redundant energy sources to our installation, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

The Directorate of Public Works and other joint base directorates are always reviewing projects that support a reliable and redundant supply of electricity, water and gas to the installation. This year, DPW has developed an Installation Energy and Water Plan (IEWP) for the future. IEWP projects have been developed to improve and enhance the reliability of energy and water systems that support JBM-HH missions.

The IEWP evaluated both Fort Myer and Fort McNair major utility systems and developed a roadmap to achieve the resilience and readiness of our energy resources at JBM-HH. The projects include upgrading our natural gas, water and wastewater systems. Some of the utility systems at JBM-HH are aging and need repair or replacement.

An example of one of the proposed projects is an alternate source of electrical power to the Radnor Heights substation using a natural gas fed electric generator. Another utility upgrade project underway is the installation of new natural gas lines to replace the old and aging natural gas system at Fort McNair with a contract awarded in 2021 to Washington Gas company.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore and Huntsville districts have numerous contracts in place to re-design and renovate various buildings at JBM-HH. Part of this effort includes major improvements to the mechanical HVAC and electrical systems to include more efficient equipment and reliable HVAC heating and cooling systems. The National Defense University campus at Fort McNair has a new contract to upgrade and replace the heating and cooling plants and install new advanced HVAC control and monitoring systems.

Electrification of fleet and tactical vehicles

There is a major effort underway by the Army to replace the existing fossil fueled fleet transportation and tactical vehicles with electric vehicles in the future. This is part of the federal government effort to obtain a zero emission vehicles fleet by 2027. The effort will support the use of carbon free energy due to climate change threats. Be on the lookout for more battery-operated vehicles in the future.

Energy Conservation toward efficiency and affordability

During this month, we should all focus on efforts to save energy at the garrison. Everybody should help to save energy at the joint base by turning off office equipment and lights at night and limiting the use of portable heaters for personal use. Use energy efficient LED lighting and programmable thermostats. In addition, all equipment purchased should meet ‘Energy Star’ ratings for maximum efficiency. Some of the best energy saving tips for home and office can be found on the Department of Energy website: https://www.energy.gov/eere/femp/home-energy-checklist

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL