4 Ways Department Of Defense Could Reduce $20 Billion Energy Bill

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 @ 21:03 PM

Could The DOD Actually Eliminate $20 Billion In Energy Cost Through Energy Efficiency?

It's not very often that I re-post nearly an entire article for posting in our blog post...that's not usually a good thing to do according to blog etiquette.  But in this case, after I got back up in my chair from reading it, I thought, I have to share this with others. 

It's sort of ironic that our own government is one of the biggest consumers of electricity or energy in general.  300,000 buildings....I can hardly imagine that.  A $20 billion dollar energy bill.....wow, a 30% savings is a lot of money.  Take a look at the article.....I put some bold text around some of the numbers that floored me....

Here's The Article.....

Making the Defense Department more energy efficient

By Judy Marks, president and CEO, Siemens Government Technologies -03/28/12 02:01 PM ET

In 2011, the Department of Defense (DOD) was not only the single largest energy consumer in the U.S., but the largest in the world. The DOD spent roughly $20 billion on energy last year, including $4 billion at military installations. With multiple government initiatives introduced around energy consumption goals and policies in place like the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the DOD has very real targets to reach in improving energy efficiencies, utilization of cleaner power sources, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. With a focus on four aspects of energy effectiveness, the DOD has an opportunity to have a considerable impact on the energy landscape in the U.S.

First, conserve and save - The DOD has over 300,000 buildings in the U.S., many of them examples of aging infrastructure. Simply by implementing readily available energy efficiency technologies and initiatives, the DOD can bend the curve on its $4 billion annual energy bill and yield large financial rewards.

Second, generate and store – U.S. military installations offer the opportunity to implement a vast array of renewable energy sources including solar, wind and geothermal power. With advances in storage technologies, renewable energy can play a greater role in a diverse power generation mix.

Third, control and monitor - Automation takes the guesswork out of energy efficiency. The DOD is expanding its use of automation to meter power usage, control lighting, manage building climate and generate power on-demand. Building automation, lighting and water technologies are proven to save facilities anywhere from 30% to 50% of their energy consumption. 

Fourth, implement microgrids - The DOD is now moving to the use of Microgrids, self-contained islands of power transmission, distribution and utilization that can function autonomously or be connected to a larger power grid. Microgrids offer the DOD the ability to drive efficiencies, lower costs and provide energy security for military bases. They will be a more reliable, secure solution to manage, distribute, measure, utilize and conserve electricity use. Microgrids can also serve as an integrator for multiple sources of energy, including renewables, improving the function and capacity of our national grid system overall. 


Politicians Too Focused On Up-front Costs To Consider Advantages Of Long-term Benefits

Some staggering numbers to consider.  Unfortunately everyone gets hung up on the upfront costs instead of focusing on the long term benefits of implementing this type of technology.  If the DOD could truly move away from consuming energy  to actually generating back to the grid, $20 Billion in savings over 10 years could bring a lot of construction work and jobs back into something positive for the future of our country.  Something to think about for sure. 

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