MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For over a decade, the Marine Corps has been the lead military service in the nationwide efforts of conserving energy.
In the Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos discussed the importance of energy conservation and highlighted how seeking new energies will better position the Corps in the future and keep it prepared for whatever mission comes its way.
On Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the efforts have been visible; through a month-long series of events during Energy Awareness Month in October, energy initiatives were highlighted through the base Energy Fair at the Marine Corps Exchange and in a contest for base youth.
At the MCB Camp Lejeune Energy Summit, held Nov. 30 at the Officers' Club, leaders were afforded the opportunity to talk about ideas and plans for the future regarding the base's energy conservation methods.
"All of the leaders here showed some great input and a great understanding of the subject," said Navy Ensign Walter Anderson, the assistant public works officer with Public Works Division.
The summit had several speakers and discussed changes coming to facilities on base, including an upcoming shift from a less efficient, centralized, coal-powered steam system to facility level natural gas hot water systems.
Renovations and construction will pave the way to great reductions in energy usage. All buildings are being constructed to consume less energy than national standards, every streetlight will use light-emitting diode lights and all incandescent light bulbs will be replaced throughout the base.
Goals include a 30 percent reduction in energy intensity by fiscal year 2015 and expanding the use of renewable energy by 25 percent by 2025.
"It's going to take time," said Col. Daniel J. Lecce, MCB Camp Lejeune Commanding Officer. "It's definitely not overnight stuff."
The summit had an emphasis on top-down leadership, instilling a sense of accountability on energy matters, and behavioral change.
"It showed change is going to come from the top down, and that's really important with any change to have support from the top." said Major Brenda Wasser, the engineer officer with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The changes will affect everybody. Every building will have an energy monitor a person who will assist with conservation efforts. They will report inefficient systems in a building and give recommendations for problems.
"(MCB Camp) Lejeune has stepped up to the challenge," said Gayle Von Eckartsberg, the deputy director of the United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office.
Following suit with other installations MCB Camp Lejeune will be implementing the Resident Energy Conservation Program, where a power bill will be given to those who go over a certain baseline in base housing.
"The idea is that it'll get people thinking about their energy usage," said Lecce.
He talked about changes in bases in Hawaii, saying that billing caused a shift in behavior there that lowered energy usage.
"The whole United States needs to get more energy efficient," said Wasser. "It's good for the Marine Corps to lead the way"