U.S. Army reaches $1 billion energy milestone
Energy savings performance contracts such as the one on Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, have helped the U.S. Army reach a $1 billion milestone challenge issued by President Obama. Photo courtesy of Fort Buchanan public affairs
The U.S. Army has surpassed the $1 billion mark in energy savings performance and utility energy services contracts in less than five years, according to a press release. The push toward savings and conservation comes as a response to President Obama's challenge to all federal agencies to achieve a total investment of $4 billion before the end of 2016.
The Army Materiel Command's Anniston Army Depot awarded a utility energy service contract, valued at approximately $20 million, to clinch the milestone. The contract will enhance the Army's readiness efforts by allowing Anniston to run more effective and efficient daily operations, the release said.
“Federal agencies like the Army can leverage their utility budgets and take the steps essential to enhancing resiliency, achieving cost savings and improving operations and maintenance," Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.
Private investors use their own funds to modernize, upgrade or implement energy and water efficiency, as well as renewable energy systems on Army installations. In return, the Army pays back the investment with some of the utility cost savings achieved from these improvements.
The investors guarantee a minimum savings that meets or exceeds the required payments. At the end of the contract, the Army owns all of the improvements and benefits from the continuing savings, which it can use to meet other readiness requirements.
With the Anniston Army Depot signing, the Army has contracted for 127 individual projects, or task orders, totaling $1.015 billion. This represents 33 percent of the federal government's total response to the president's challenge and 68 percent of the Department of Defense's total efforts.
The Army has a long history of using performance contracting that predates the president's challenge. Since 1992, the Army has been aggressively pursuing energy savings and currently has the largest energy savings performance contracting program in federal government.
The Army's 624 individual projects or task orders represent private investment of more than $2.5 billion.
Collectively, these energy usage improvements equate to 12.7 trillion British thermal unit energy savings annually for the Army, enough to power nearly 350,000 average U.S. households per year.
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