By Earl Bittner, NAVFAC Southeast Public Affairs
GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport has won the Secretary of the Navy's Energy and Water Management Award, Navy Small Shore category, for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced the winners Sept. 20.
Other top Energy and Water Management Award categories include Navy Large Shore, Marine Corps Large Shore, Marine Corps Small Shore, Other Shore, Large Ship, Medium Ship and Small Ship.
"NCBC Gulfport's selection for this honor reflects the hard work and deep commitment of all commands and personnel on the base to energy conservation. Our Public Works Department did a tremendous job leading the way with innovative solutions and a passionate focus on the efficient management of our resources to support the warfighter. The team really hit this one out of the park," said Capt. Paul J. Odenthal, NCBC Gulfport commanding officer.
"These commands executed comprehensive efficiency programs with senior-level command involvement, well-staffed and trained energy teams, aggressive awareness campaigns, innovative energy efficiency measures, and consistent reduction in energy consumption," said Mabus in his award announcement.
The top eight winners earned monetary awards ranging from $20,000 to $45,000 for accomplishments achieved in FY2012. As the Navy Small Shore category winner, NCBC Gulfport received $30,000.
"Winning the Small Shore award is like winning the Super Bowl in the Navy world. There is nothing higher," said Cmdr. Brian Nottingham, NCBC Gulfport Public Works Officer.
NCBC Gulfport achieved a 31 percent energy reduction from their FY2003 energy baseline and a 61 percent reduction from their FY2007 water baseline.
Contributing factors to NCBC Gulfports' success included several projects to enhance the bases HVAC systems, installation of solar panels, compressed air system renovations, boiler replacements and LED lighting installations, just to name a few.
"We have several other projects in the works to continue with our reduction efforts over the next year, including installation of outdoor LED lighting, chiller replacements and new infrared heater upgrades," said Nottingham.
"Identifying potential energy conservation projects requires not only utilizing the typical energy conservation methods, but also involves taking measured risks by analyzing and employing innovative 'outside the box' energy concepts and technologies," said Matt Schultz, NCBC Gulfport Public Works Production Director.
NCBC Gulfport has implemented an extensive energy monitoring program where each building has an assigned Building Energy Monitor (BEM). These individuals are trained to be watchful of wasteful energy use. They are also instructed to coach their buildings' occupants on efficient energy behaviors. NCBC Gulfport currently has 75 BEMs that receive regular training from the installation's energy team. BEMs have bought forward ideas for developing a lighting project in a warehouse and for eliminating the gas supply to another warehouse due to a mission change, saving $7,000 per year.
The top eight award winners are authorized to fly the SECNAV Energy flag for one year and will be recognized at the SECNAV Energy Training sessions to be held October 16-17 in Norfolk, Va. and October 28-29 in San Diego, Calif.
The awards program also recognizes the accomplishments of commands that achieved the platinum, gold, or blue levels of achievement. Platinum levels of achievement indicate an outstanding energy program and an exceptional year for energy project execution and winners receive $5,000 each, to be spent at the discretion of the commanding officer to encourage further energy improvements. The Gold level of achievement indicates a very good to outstanding energy program. The Blue level of achievement indicates a well-rounded energy program. Winners receive a certificate of achievement in these categories.
NCBC Gulfport previously received two Gold and one Blue Award in the last three years.
"Congratulations and thank you for your efforts. Energy and water management are critical to the accomplishment of the Navy's mission," said Mabus in his award announcement. "Energy specifically is one of my top priorities and your performance has significantly advanced progress towards achievement of our goals. Your excellence in energy and water management is an example for all other commands to follow. We must all continue to be good stewards of our resources and in the process, we will reduce consumption, become more efficient, and conserve scarce resources to better support our warfighters."