NAS Patuxent River is NDW's Energy Biggest Loser

Story Number: NNS160202-15Release Date: 2/2/2016 1:34:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River was announced as the winner of the Naval District Washington (NDW) 2015 Energy Biggest Loser (EBL) Competition, Jan. 24.

The competition among the NDW installations ran for the whole month of November and pitted one base against the other to see which one could reduce energy use the most during the month. The total usage was collected weekly and then compiled at the end of the month. The winning installation was chosen based on the greatest percent reduction in electrical consumption from the previous year.

Having reduced its overall energy consumption by 6.2 percent, NAS Patuxent River had the greatest reduction and will receive the first place prize of $70,000 to use toward base improvements. Naval Support Activity (NSA) South Potomac earned second place, and NSA Annapolis earned third place. Second and third place "losers" will receive $50,000 and $30,000 respectively.

NAS Commanding Officer Capt. Heidi Fleming, accepted the $70,000 award on her installation's behalf.

"We've been leaning forward in partnering with our tenants to educate the workforce on the importance of changing our culture to reduce our energy consumption," said Fleming. "It's truly a team effort to get a workforce of 25,000 to see that every bit each of us can do adds up. While 6.2 percent may not seem like a lot, it's about $102,000 off of one month's electric bill."

It was the first time NDW held the "Energy Biggest Loser" competition among its installations.

In addition to the main competition, a poster and video contest were also held in an effort to promote energy conservation awareness, provide education, and promote individual actions personnel can take to help bring down costs of energy use ashore.

The winners for the poster and video contest received a letter of recognition from Lindsey. The winning poster and videos both went to the Naval Academy Midshipmen representing Naval Support Activity Annapolis.

The EBL competition was also an effort to change culture and behavior, achieve a regional energy reduction of 5 percent for the month of November and facilitate continual energy education and communication throughout the year.

"The competition was done in an effort to broaden the reach of energy savings," said NDW Energy Program Manager Lt. Cmdr. James Shefchik. "Every computer shut down, every light switched off reduces the Navy's energy bill and reduces the fossil fuel burned."

The contest used friendly competition to encourage people to think just a little harder about the energy impacts they make.

Shefchik said he was also confident the overarching message brought by the competition made a big difference.

"Saving energy does not have to be painful, but it does require attention," he added.

The competition was also inspired by the Navy's ongoing energy conservation initiative started in 2009 by Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus. The program, known as the Great Green Fleet, aims to reduce the Department of the Navy's consumption of energy, decrease its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and significantly increase its use of alternative energy. Energy bills are the single largest cost for Navy installations, reflecting about 28 percent of Navy's shore budget. Reducing energy costs will help us reach the SECNAV's energy goals.

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