By Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs
SILVERDALE, Wash. – Navy Region Northwest, the Navy’s third largest fleet concentration area, is nearing its goal of reducing energy usage by 30 percent by the end of fiscal year 2015.
“As of right now, the region as a whole is at a 28 percent reduction in energy consumption,” said Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest Public Works Business Line Coordinator Christopher Floro. “It is important to note that there are certain operational elements that could impact the percentage, such as waterfront ship loading and associated barracks quarters personnel presence, but we are doing well. Furthermore, unusual weather patterns can also influence consumption reduction.”
Energy bills are one of the largest costs for Navy installations. Energy usage at a Navy facility changes slightly depending on the amount of people that are living or working in that facility. The 30 percent energy reduction goal was set forth by the President in Executive Order 13423 and uses energy consumption figures from 2003 as the baseline for comparison. The Navy later formalized the Navy Shore Energy Program, which also set a second goal of reducing shore energy usage by 50 percent by 2020.
Over the past several years, Northwest Navy installations have completed many projects that improved the efficiency and reliability of utility systems that support operations at each installation. Such projects include upgrading lighting fixtures, renovations to bachelor living quarters, utilizing ground source or geothermal heating and cooling systems, and adjusting thermostats and air-conditioning.
“A key part of our Northwest team’s success thus far is our 100 percent collective commitment to reaching this goal, and everyone is proactively doing their part to make a difference,” said Floro.
Navy leadership and energy management teams have also executed an aggressive educational campaign to create an energy awareness culture and change the way we think about energy consumption. This re-invigorated focus on energy and water conservation involves teaching personnel to adjust day-to-day behavior to reduce their energy usage. This includes turning off lights when leaving a room, powering down all electronic devices at the end of the day, unplugging and removing extra microwaves or refrigerators, opening windows instead of turning on fans, and when available, using sunlight through windows instead of turning on lights.
“Improving energy efficiency is closely tied to our mission success. Not only is it better for our budget and the environment, but it also helps us in the long-run to safeguard the future of our mission to support the Fleet, the Fighter and their Families,” said Commander, Navy Region Northwest Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar. “I’m proud of what Team Northwest has achieved so far and look forward to the day we reach our goal.”
In 2013, several Northwest Navy shore commands won Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Energy and Water Management Awards. Naval Base Kitsap was recognized as the overall winner in the Navy Large Shore category. Naval Magazine Indian Island and Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport received platinum-level awards and $5,000. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and Naval Station Everett each received gold-level awards.
Every major Northwest Navy shore command has won a SECNAV Energy award since 2007 in an ongoing effort to meet energy reduction goals. Any award money earned is then used by the winning commands to complete projects which further improve energy efficiency and enhance morale. Using a rigorous, quantitative process, each command is working towards tailored energy efficiency goals to achieve better results each year.