BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Naval District Washington Commandant, Rear Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey presented Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) with an award for its energy initiatives and helped open a new ground source heat pump during a ribbon cutting ceremony, July 6.
The 2015 Secretary of the Navy Platinum Energy Award was awarded to NSAB for its improvements in energy conservation, including a 42.8 percent energy reduction from 2003-2014 and a 35.6 percent water reduction from 2007-2014. NSAB also saved $10 million in fiscal year 2014 through its energy projects and an energy behavioral campaign.
When he was given the task of improving the base's energy program three years ago, NSAB Installation Energy Manager William Ortega-Ortiz said, "it took me all of two minutes to realize that we were extremely deficient as an installation" in energy conservation.
So for the past three years, NSAB has made several improvements including the installation of new LED light fixtures in several buildings and outside lighting areas, implementing energy conservation projects into future construction and renovations such as the new ground source heat pump.
The installation has 44 energy projects scheduled between 2013-2018 that will result in an estimated $16 million in savings.
"The savings are completely off the chart right now," said Ortega-Ortiz.
In addition to being good for the environment, energy conservation helps with the warfighting effort by saving dollars, Lindsey told the assembled audience.
"Those are resources that can be pumped back into ships and airplanes that we need in the Navy," said Lindsey.
Changing the culture is a big part of energy savings, he emphasized.
"When you don't sign those [power and water bills], you don't tend to be as conscious of it as you are at home or elsewhere," said Lindsey. "Getting people to think a different way, not having a string of lights in your office or not everybody having a little refrigerator under their desk to keep their soda cold -- it's little things like that that make a difference."
Jones commended those involved with reducing NSAB's energy consumption.
"I'm encouraging you all to continue the stewardship we've done thus far and to be very efficient and creative in our energy conservation efforts," said Jones.
The $8.2 million ground source heat pump project replaced the current heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system at the CDCs with one that is high-efficiency, includes renewable energy, and will result in an estimated $516,000 in annual savings, according to Ortega-Ortiz.
Recycling posters -- some made from leftover puzzle pieces and one with plastic bottles shaped into a caterpillar -- made by preschool children were hung up on the columns in front of the CDCs for the ribbon cutting.
"We wanted to show that we do recycle," said NSAB Child & Youth Program Oversight Director Jamila Aziz.
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