To win a war against waste and drive Naval District Washington (NDW) toward a comprehensive energy strategy, leaders and managers across the region are turning to a fundamental weapon: information.
Whether from technical data pouring in from building control systems and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), or knowledge imparted on personnel through energy training conducted on all naval installations, energy information serves as one of the five key pillars to building a sustainable energy environment as outlined in the NDW Energy Policy Statement.
“Accurate data can stand on its own merits and is one of the front-line tools used to help shape a culture of conservation and energy efficiency,” said Michael Partyka, installation energy manager (IEM) at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis. “The energy information pillar will provide me, as the IEM, the fiducial energy data needed to make the best decisions to deploy limited taxpayer resources in meeting legislated and mandated energy and water goals for my area of responsibility.”
Partyka said NSA Annapolis is monitoring and integrating thousands of points from their energy management control system into a network, which, coupled with real-time data in 15-minute intervals from the AMIs, provides clean data for leaders to make the best decisions involving energy consumption.
Through such technological advances, energy leaders and users have built stronger culture and tighter security upon the information learned.
Time and culture, Partyka explained, are slow to change, although not necessarily in a negative way. As a single IEM for the base, time becomes a precious commodity for him as he deals with daily challenges; and he likens culture change to changing the course of an aircraft carrier.
“Organizational culture is no different,” he said. “It takes time for changes to permeate throughout installation personnel.”
Not so long ago, energy managers relied on manually reading meters on location and conducting spot checks on facilities to ensure proper energy and water consumption. As AMIs and other data controls become more widespread and smart grid prototypes gain momentum, that information can be tracked, stored and controlled faster and more effectively.
The integrated technology platforms and retro-commissioning teams that we deploy across NDW enable us to collect and analyze data to support energy information initiatives, said Lt. Cmdr. Keith Benson, NDW energy director. However, it is truly the dedicated work of all installation energy teams to lead from the front in processing installation energy information with all supported commanders to effectively meet all Secretary of the Navy energy goals, he added.
“We empower installation energy teams to make a difference and NSA Annapolis continues to demonstrate why they are the Navy’s Energy Showcase,” Benson said. “The underlying notion here is still energy leadership. We can collect and analyze data from advanced meters and other ongoing energy information initiatives, but if there is no installation leadership or command priority for energy, then we’re at a loss.”
At NSA Annapolis, Capt. Scott Bernotas, public works officer, and his team developed the FURC—the Facility Utility Report Card—a monthly visual report card that ranks the top 20 energy users and provides trending data and audit information to the installation commanding officer, senior leadership and installation tenants.
Partyka said he hopes to launch capstone projects such as an energy competition between service academies, much like the Commander-in-Chief’s Cup for football, but with the intrinsic value tied to energy.
While IEMs and commanders are taking the main role in achieving the goals in the Energy Policy Statement, every person can make a difference both at work and at home, Benson noted.
“There is an expectation that everyone is an energy leader, and everyone contributes to the energy program’s success,” he said.
For Partyka, the power of empirical information collection and dissemination is in building long-term trust with tenants and users working together toward a better and more sustainable future while accomplishing the mission.
“The long term strategy here is to be a beacon of holistic sustainability for the rest of the Navy and DoD,” said Partyka.