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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Army Posts Rely on Local Utilities for ‘Net Zero’ Gains

  • January 24, 2012
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Installations participating in the Army’s Net Zero Installation initiative increasingly are partnering with local utilities and energy service providers to cut their use of energy and water, and to reduce their waste stream.

Army posts historically provided much of their energy and water needs in-house, but with the nation’s increasing urbanization, most installations now are close to communities. In many cases, the utilities serving those populations can provide water or collect waste more cheaply than the Army can, Maj. Gen. Al Aycock, director of operations for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, explained last week during a media roundtable.

By working in conjunction, the two can better protect the environment and save energy, he said.

One of the “best successes,” Aycock said, is the partnership Fort Hunter Liggett in central California formed with the local utility. The installation has cut its energy consumption by 50 percent over the past several years.

When installation officials were considering the most efficient way to provide streetlights for a newly built roadway, the utility suggested installing solar-powered LED lights. In addition to relying on an energy source with no consumption cost, the installation was able to take advantage of a grant program offered by the utility that covered 70 percent of the cost of the streetlights.

The utility helped the post identify the most efficient solution, and helped pay for it as well. “It was a great win for all,” Aycock said.

The media event followed a three-day conference for installation officials and staff participating in the Army’s Net Zero initiative. For more on the conference, read the Army News Service story.

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