Answering the Call: How Energy Service Companies Achieve Savings

The government and military facilities consume nearly 1 quadrillion-BTUs of energy annually. A
government-wide effort using certified Energy Services Companies is retrofitting buildings and bases, saving the government money and reducing its energy intensity
.

By Jeff Tourigny, LEED AP, CEM, CRM, CBCP, CIAQP, DGCP, CDSM and Mark C. Falasca, MBA, CEP 


 

In December of 2011, the Energy Savings and Performance-Based Contracting Investments Initiative was launched by the President to save the federal government $4 billion over five years, by reducing energy costs at both government and private buildings.

Given its size and energy requirements, the Department of Defense can be a major contributor to the aggregate savings across the federal government. Indeed, as part of the program, the Department of the Army alone accounted for over $1 billion in total savings when the program reached its $4 billion goal in late 2016. These savings will ultimately be achieved through 127 projects at 52 installations across the country, utilizing both Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESCs) and Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs).

 

 ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT

The project that officially put the Army over the 10-figure mark is taking place at Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) in Anniston, Alabama. The UESC project is an agreement between Alabama Power and ANAD, and relies heavily on the CCI Group – a certified Department of Energy Services Company (ESCO) with significant experience across a wide variety of government agencies and departments.

In Anniston, CCI’s work with Alabama Power will yield approximately $2.2 million in annual savings, and reduce utility consumption by 167,000-MMBTU/year. Energy savings at ANAD is equivalent to the annual usage of over 1,750 homes, based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projections.

“Anniston Army Depot is vitally important to the state of Alabama and to the nation,” Tony Smoke, Alabama Power’s vice president of marketing, said. “We are excited to partner with CCI Group to support the base and its efforts to become more energy efficient.”

Executed in the summer of 2016, the contract calls for the replacement and modernization of ANAD’s energy consuming infrastructure. The upgrades include depot-wide inefficient central heating and process high pressure steam plants; HVAC equipment and controls; interior and exterior lighting; compressed air equipment and distributions along with potable water fixtures.

 

 

Upon completion, the new boiler plant and rehabilitated high pressure steam distribution will not only meet today’s process steam requirements, but will be designed for extensive flexibility so that it remains an efficient source of process steam well into the future -­ capable of effectively supporting ANAD’s continuously evolving mission.

“Both Alabama Power Company and CCI Group have a long history of supporting federal agencies through energy savings and facility recapitalization projects under UESC programs, and are excited to be part of the larger energy savings effort within the Army,” said Duncan Morrison, President and CEO of CCI Group.

CCI and the other Qualified Energy Services Companies working in this sector are just getting started. In December of 2016, CCI signed another contract with Groton Utilities Company to modernize Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. Though smaller in scale than ANAD – annual savings will amount to approximately $1.2 million and 51,000-MMBTU with the base using many of the same technologies and capabilities being applied in the ANAD UESC. These upgrades will prepare what is known as “the Home of the Submarine Force” for its future missions.

CCI has also worked on energy savings projects at other military and federal installations throughout the U.S. and its territories, including Naval Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck, New Jersey, Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst in New Jersey, and Corry Station Navy Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida.

 

 

 

ADVANCING ENERGY SECURITY

The Army and Navy have always enjoyed a friendly rivalry. But just as they come together to defend our interests at home and abroad, they are both playing major roles in solving an energy challenge that will confront us for decades to come. These retrofits are part of a broader and crucial effort for the military’s future. For FY 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration determined that U.S. energy consumption was at its lowest level since 1975. But that still means the government is using just under 1 quadrillion BTUs on an annual basis, at a cost of $24 billion annually.

We’re accustomed to hearing billions and trillions thrown around when talking about government programs, debt, gross domestic product, and any number of other key spending or economic indicators. Still, a quadrillion is an astonishing number. The same study determined that the Department of Defense’s energy usage is also down to its lowest level since 1975. These statistics are likely highly correlated; DOD accounted for 78 percent of all federal energy usage – down from 87 percent in the 1970s.

In 2014, the DOD issued a revamped set of policies regarding agency priorities for energy efficiency measures. Then DOD Deputy Director for Policy and International Engagement Rachel Posner said:

“As the nation’s largest single user of energy — spending an estimated $19 billion on fuel and electricity in 2013 — DOD will use this directive to advance energy security, mitigate costs and enhance military capability through energy improvements in the years ahead.”

 

EFFICIENCY FOCUSED

Efficiency and military effectiveness go hand in hand. In remote regions of Iraq and Afghanistan, a deep reliance on fossil fuels challenged our military. Back home, inefficient buildings leave our installations underprepared for a continuously evolving mission, and cost the Department of Defense billions of scarce dollars in an era of tight budgets and limited resources. The immediate future will see personnel and policy changes within the government and specifically the military however; efficiency upgrades should continue to be a focus.

CCI and other ESCOs are interested to see what direction leadership takes with respect to reducing utility cost through energy efficiency at military installations. There is no question, however, that significant progress has been made in creating a more energy efficient government and military, to the benefit of the troops and support personnel who live, work, and utilize these facilities.

Another aspect of the government’s push for energy efficiency is the need to manage existing infrastructure while adapting to ever-changing military mission requirements. Efficiency contracts such as the UESC and ESPC programs, along with ENABLE, a standardized and streamlined procurement process for relatively small federal energy conservation projects, are effective tools to address this challenge. The improvements these contracts create can build energy resiliency and security solutions at our military bases. Though we are still in the early days of the new Administration, a major infrastructure package is reportedly high on the agenda. These efficiency programs should be a component of whatever shape this proposal takes.

 

 

ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS

Engineers, whether in the private sector or government, rightfully believe they can solve any challenge that has an engineering component. The last six years have provided a blueprint to back up confidence that our energy efficiency goals can indeed be engineered and are within reach. We hope the new Administration builds on this progress, and sets even more ambitious efficiency goals for the military and the government at large. As the government sets new efficiency targets, ESCOs stand prepared to be a part of these historic achievements.

 


 

Jeff Tourigny, LEED AP, CEM, CRM, CBCP, CIAQP, DGCP, CDSM, Energy Program Manager and Mark C. Falasca, MBA, CEP, Energy Services Manager are with CCI Group, LLC. They can be reached at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CCI Group is a subsidiary of the Alaska Native-owned Bristol Bay Native Corporation.