|By Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Commanding General,
Installation Management Command
In the past, energy has been a side conversation for
the Army. It tended to be an area of concern for some experts and
specialists, but for a lot of us, whether Soldiers and Civilians in the
workplace or Family members in the community, we did not give it much
thought. Maybe we paid attention to the Public Service Announcements
reminding us to turn off lights, but that was about it.
However, with changing security concerns and increased demands on
finite financial and natural resources, energy has become an issue we
all have to pay attention to. We must proactively address today’s energy
challenges for the sake of ourselves, our mission and our nation as well
as for future generations. So I intend to keep the issue front and
center. I intend to keep the dialogue focused on what we in the
Installation Management Community must do, can do and are doing to
increase the Army’s energy efficiency and security.
The Army depends on a reliable, safe, cost-effective supply of energy to
accomplish its mission, as well as to provide a good quality of life for
Soldiers, Civilians and Families on installations worldwide. To the
extent that the supply and distribution of energy lay outside the Army’s
control, the ability to accomplish our mission is open to risk.
In January 2009, the Army issued guidance for increasing energy
security, the Army Energy Security Implementation Strategy. The
Installation Management Campaign Plan, the strategic document directing
our actions, includes a section focused on energy efficiency and
security; this section, Line of Effort (LOE) 6, was developed in support
of the Army energy guidance. The keys to success for LOE 6 focus on
reducing energy and water consumption, increasing energy and water
efficiency, modernizing infrastructure, and developing renewable and
alternative energy supplies.
Since Version 1 of the Campaign Plan was released in March, we have
continued to work on LOE 6, in particular refining the keys to success
and developing meaningful metrics to measure our progress. Version 2 of
the Campaign Plan will be released in October, which is national Energy
Awareness Month. I did not plan for the two events to coincide, but it
is fitting. The revised LOE 6 will show us the way ahead for achieving
the energy security and efficiency that is a critical part of achieving
and maintaining installation readiness.
While the Campaign Plan is the driving force in changing how we do
business, the Installation Management Energy Portfolio is our toolbox.
This document, which also is being revised for release in October,
describes Army programs and initiatives that help installations realize
their energy goals. One example is metering. Residential Communities
Initiative housing on 45 Army installations is metered to measure
whether the occupants of each unit are using above or below the energy
usage baseline every month. Provided with the meter data, occupants have
steadily reduced their energy consumption so that 80 percent now receive
money back for using less than the baseline each month.
Other programs and initiatives include efforts to improve the Army’s
energy grid security and management, to track and offset utility costs,
and to require that new military construction and renovation meet
rigorous energy-efficiency standards.
I have always said that vision without resources is hallucination, so
the Energy Portfolio also lists a number of resource opportunities.
These include Army and private programs, contracts and other vehicles
through which installations can partner with private industry to gain
expertise and resources to create innovative energy programs.
Finally, the Energy Portfolio highlights several projects in which
installations are making creative use of all these resources to save and
produce energy. These projects include a 12-acre solar power array at
Fort Carson, Colo., a vegetative roof project at Tobyhanna Army Depot in
Pennsylvania, a methane gas project at Fort Knox, Ky., the first wind
turbine on an active Army installation at Tooele Army Depot in Utah, and
solar walls at Fort Drum, N.Y. The revised Energy Portfolio will expand
on this last section in particular, to provide ideas and inspiration to
other members of the Installation Management Community.
In addition to Version 2 of the Campaign Plan and the revised Energy
Portfolio, in October I also will publish an energy operations order to
direct specific actions that raise the overall level of effort within
the Installation Management Community.
When we look at the energy projects around our installations, we can see
the Installation Management Community has made a solid start in
addressing energy issues.
However, when we consider those issues, we also can see how far we still
have to go. Last year we spent $1.3 billion for the installation utility
bill, which includes electricity, steam, water and natural gas. The Army
spent $4 billion for fuel and utilities. That is a large price tag for
resources we do not control and that will run out eventually.
I am looking for people who are passionate about energy issues and
committed to finding innovative ways to solve the challenges. One key
person is the garrison energy manager. Every garrison needs a full-time
energy manager, or more than one depending on the size of the
installation, who can help leadership build a robust energy program. And
every garrison needs leadership to back a robust energy plan. Leadership
has to communicate that every Soldier, Civilian employee and Family
member on the installation is responsible for doing his or her part.
Occasionally someone who is less-than-committed to energy efficiency
says to me, in effect, “Hey, quit going on about turning off the
lights.” Here is an idea: turn off the lights and I will quit talking
about it. When we have achieved the energy efficiencies that are
possible — when we have found ways to avoid energy costs and reduced
unavoidable costs and limited our use of nonrenewable resources — then
we can talk about other issues, such as which Soldier and Family
programs to apply the savings to.
Focusing on our energy programs is truly non-negotiable. We have to look
to our programs to generate savings that will help with the Army’s part
of the $23 billion in efficiencies that the Secretary of Defense is
requiring from all the services.
We have to look to them to more securely position us to accomplish our
missions, to provide an even better quality of life for Soldiers and
Families, and to help address some critical environmental issues, so
that we do not pass them on to our children and their children. For all
of these reasons, it is the right thing to do to get our energy programs