End of year, not end of projects

24 Nov 2009 | Marine Cpl. Jessica L. Martinez

As the year draws to an end, Camp Lejeune forges ahead toward becoming a more energy efficient installation while continuously promoting energy security and conservation.

“For (Fiscal Year) 2009, we spent over $37 million to heat, cool and light the entire base,” said Navy Lt. Nate Overtree, assistant public works officer with Energy Programs aboard the base. “Federal law states we have to reduce our energy and water usage 30 percent and 16 percent respectively by (Fiscal Year) 2015.”

To reach this goal, Energy Programs has several ongoing energy saving projects in the works.

“Currently we are replacing 1,150 street lights throughout the base, with (light-emitting diodes),” said Overtree. “Each light uses 50 percent less energy than the light it is replacing and are brighter.”

Already the lights throughout Paradise Point, Camp Johnson, Courthouse Bay and some along Holcomb Boulevard have been replaced with the energy efficient LEDs.

Overtree also continued to say they are working on an energy monitoring control system. It is a computerized system that will monitor and control what is running or not running properly on base such as the air conditioning, heat, lights and solar hot water in the barracks, warehouses and administration buildings throughout the base.

“The EMCS will monitor 24/7,” said Overtree. “We want to get to the point where we know what isn’t working properly before the people in the building know and have it fixed before hand. We have a lot of equipment on base to save energy, and it only works if it is working properly. So as long as (the equipment) works as intended, it saves us money and electricity.”

Another big project in the works for the base is the solar hot water panels being installed on the roofs of the Area 2 and 5, and Camp Johnson swimming pools.

In FY2009 alone, commented Overtree, there was more than $100 million in savings as a result of the energy projects on base to use for the building of 14 barracks, three dining halls, a child development center and a runway apron.

“With our size we tend to take a large bit of the Marine Corps budget for energy,” said Overtree. “Already we’ve spent over $200 million in energy projects. If all goes as needed, next year we’ll see a three to four percent drop in energy intensity on base above what we were planning. Energy is the number one priority of the secretary of the Navy and of high importance to the commandant of the Marine Corps and chief naval officers. This is important to Lejeune because we’re the second largest Marine Corps base in the world.”

For more information on energy conservation, visit