By Tom Kreidel
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic have teamed up with a continuing program to put energy saving devices on vending machines throughout the Navy's Mid-Atlantic Region.
"As a non-appropriated fund instrumentality with a mission to deliver profits to support MWR, cost-saving actions are always part of NEXCOM's daily business practices," said Gerard Fantano, NEXCOM Vending Branch Manager. "Beginning in late 2012 we moved forward and procured the energy saving units in this region to place on our contracted carbonated beverage machines."
The energy saving devices are equipped with motion sensors that save electricity by turning off the lights & compressor and minimizing energy usage in the machines when they are not being used by customers. According to Arnold Agustin, Energy Program Manager at NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic there are currently 56 of these sensors installed throughout the region on selected NEX operated machines, with the majority of them at Naval Station Norfolk.
"We have plans for many more throughout the region," he added. "The NEX has purchased some of them for their own machines and plans are to specify that new carbonated beverage machines are Energy Star rated and or have energy saving devices either attached or built into contracted carbonated/non-perishable beverage product machines."
He explained that these controls save approximately $130 worth of electricity per machine annually in the Norfolk area, and even more in parts of the region that have higher electricity costs; with nearly 1900 kilowatt hours of electricity saved annually. On beverage machines, the sensors essentially pay for themselves in just over a year.
"It's a relatively small number per machine," he said. "But think about how many vending machines we have throughout the region, it really adds up."
The project to install the sensors began last year and is ongoing. He explained that one of the great benefits of these types of devices is that they are very simple to install.
"They plug directly into the wall socket and the vending machine plugs into the energy saving sensor, making it very simple plug-in installation with no wiring or electrician required," said Agustin.
"We will continue to expand the device applications through our business partners, phase out aged energy drawing machines and continue to procure state of the art equipment supporting energy conservation," added Fantano.
For the traditional snack machines, replacing standard florescent tubes with energy efficient and on newer machines LED lighting replaced all types of florescent tubes. In addition, aged cold food and frozen food machines are being replaced with new more energy efficient machines.