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Marine Corps Systems Command

"Equipping the Warfighter to Win"

Command strives to reduce energy use

By Monique Randolph, MCSC Corporate Communications | Marine Corps Systems Command | June 06, 2013

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Mike Serio, an electrician with Commercial Power Inc., installs light-emitting diode, or LED, lights outside Marine Corps Systems Command’s Bldg. 2200 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 4. The LED light installation is part of the base’s ongoing efforts to save money through reduced energy use.

Mike Serio, an electrician with Commercial Power Inc., installs light-emitting diode, or LED, lights outside Marine Corps Systems Command’s Bldg. 2200 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 4. The LED light installation is part of the base’s ongoing efforts to save money through reduced energy use. (Photo by Monique Randolph, U.S. Marine Corps)


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June 6, 2013 --

By Monique Randolph, MCSC Corporate Communications

During June, Marine Corps Base Quantico has asked Marine Corps Systems Command and other selected tenant commands to participate in a pilot program for the “Power Down Weekend” initiative. The program will begin June 7 and continue through July 1 for Bldg. 2200 only.

Throughout the month, between Friday and Sunday, employees in Bldg. 2200 are asked to shut down all nonessential electrical items—such as monitors, personal printers and scanners, coffee pots, fans, phone chargers and lighting—which will provide the base essential data to determine potential energy and cost savings.

“There are a few reasons we are attempting to conserve energy,” said Poppy Harrover, environmental coordinator and energy conservation officer for MCSC. “First, the command pays for our power usage, and less energy usage means less money the command has to pay. Second, we have been directed to reduce energy usage both through acquisition and at the facility level by executive orders, Defense Department directives, Department of the Navy policy and by our commandant, Gen. [James] Amos. Conserving energy is the right thing to do.”

As a tenant unit at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Marine Corps Systems Command has limited control over certain energy aspects in the buildings like temperature control, and the sensors and timer settings for overhead lighting, Harrover said. However, there are actions employees can take—such as powering down monitors or unplugging appliances—to help the base and command reach their power-saving goals. 

Several efforts are already underway basewide to conserve energy, said Stefanie Kivelin, energy manager for Marine Corps Base Quantico.

“Installing meters, conducting energy audits and retrofitting existing equipment with energy-efficient equipment have been the base’s focus over the past two years,” she said. “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required all federal buildings to have electric meters by 2012, and the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act requires water and gas metering by 2015. To date, the base has installed more than 100 electric meters and is in the process of installing approximately 70 more electric meters, 80 gas meters and 130 water meters.”

Electric and gas meters have been installed at most of the MCSC buildings on Hospital Point, and water meters will be installed throughout the summer and fall, Kivelin said.

The meters will be connected to a basewide communication network called the Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or AMI. The AMI network will enable the base to read and analyze meter data via a web-based application available on Marine Corps workstations, Kivelin said. Once all of the meters are installed, the base will be able to monitor building utility consumption in about 170 buildings.

The base is currently conducting baseline testing of buildings where meters are already installed, Kivelin said. The testing will determine where the facilities stand in their use now so the success of conservation efforts can be measured in the future.  

Other ongoing efforts for the base include the installation of energy efficient light emitting diode, or LED, lighting on outdoor pole-mounted light fixtures basewide. LED light installation has already begun on Hospital Point.

“The [LED] lights are on photocell sensors, so they turn on when it starts to get dark and turn off when it starts to get light,” Kivelin said. “We’re also replacing any remaining interior incandescent lighting around the base with compact fluorescent lighting, which is more energy efficient. That’s one of the really simple things we can do.”

Marine Corps Base Quantico’s energy conservation efforts are part of the larger federal government energy program and Marine Corps commandant’s “Bases to Battlefield” energy strategy. The Marine Corps goal is to reduce energy intensity by 30 percent by 2015 through unit-level efforts and an emphasis on energy savings. Every dollar saved through energy conservation is less money required to operate an installation and money that becomes available for other programs across the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps Base Quantico has already achieved about 27 percent energy reduction through both recent and past projects, such as installing boilers in buildings across the base to replace older, inefficient heating systems—a project that began in 2002, Kivelin said.

“Marine Corps experience on the battlefield has proven that the prudent use of energy improves our combat effectiveness by increasing operational reach, agility and lethality,” wrote Maj. Gen. J.A. Kessler, commander of Marine Corps Installations Command and assistant deputy commandant of Installations and Logistics (Facilities), in an energy policy statement. “Energy is equally important on Marine Corps Installations. Our bases and stations must become increasingly energy efficient and energy independent to cost effectively perform their critical missions and support Marine Corps readiness.”