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Posted 5/5/2015

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By William S. Farrow
Huntsville Center Public Affairs

It’s been more than three years since the first of three task orders were completed under a U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, $12 million Energy Savings Performance Contract award and the customer, the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command  Systems Center Pacific, couldn’t be happier with the results.

Randy Peacock, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific Facilities Operations and Energy Manager, said his expectations have been exceeded.

 “I’ve been working energy programs for the Navy since 1992, and this is by far the best energy reduction program I’ve seen the government come out with,” Peacock said.

Located in San Diego, California, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific is a research, development, test, and evaluation laboratory for the Navy’s command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, or C4ISR.

The ESPC model used at Huntsville Center is an agreement between the government and an energy service contractor.  In consultation with the customer, the contractor provides capital and expertise to make comprehensive energy and water efficiency improvements on facilities or implements new renewable energy capability and maintains them in exchange for a portion of the generated savings.

Huntsville Center awarded the $12 million ESPC for SPAWAR in 2011 with task order work by energy service company and prime contractor AECOM Technical Services Inc., completed in 2012.

After performing energy audits, analyses and upgrades in the 3 million square foot, 225 building campus, AECOM footed the bill for up-front refit costs of replacing and upgrading older systems to meet energy savings requirements and will receive a percentage of that cost paid back over time by the energy savings.

Highlights of the work included water conservation measures, chilled water air conditioning upgrades, a heating and hot water retrofit, upgraded air handlers, electronic control systems and lighting upgrades.

The total expected energy cost savings is $23 million during the 19-year term of the contract.

However, the full benefit isn’t just about energy savings, Peacock said, as he’s seen a satisfied workforce spending more time focusing on the SPAWAR mission.

 “Prior to 2012 our facilities maintenance call center was averaging about 200 calls a week, and since the task order was completed, we’ve seen a drop in service calls down to an average of about 20 per week,” Peacock said. “Now the lab technicians have dependable air conditioning temperatures in their areas crucial for the type of environmentally sensitive work they perform.” 

Although most ESPC work Huntsville Center has performed has been for Army customers, Jason Bray, Huntsville Center’s project manager for the SPAWAR ESPC, said the Center is looking to expand its services to all branches of the Department of Defense and using the Center’s relationship with the Navy is a premiere marketing tool for future ESPC customers.

“Through a multitude of energy projects, SPAWAR had a vision on how to obtain the Presidential Goal of Energy Reduction by 30 percent by the year 2015,” Bray said.  “That plan included the ESPC program, and once the three ESPC task orders were implemented, Peacock started seeing energy reduction with 2012-2015 being the largest drop Peacock has ever seen.”

One of the best marketing tools in any industry, be it private or federal, is customer satisfaction and word of mouth, and Peacock said he’s certain Huntsville Center’s ESPC program will catch on with other Navy commands due to the success seen at SPAWAR.

“We’ve had a lot of high-ranking visitors come through, and we always like to spotlight that through the ESPC we have new or refit controls and equipment with no cost to us. I tell them about the phenomenal savings we’ve seen through the ESPC, so obviously there’s a great amount of interest,” Peacock said.

Energy Cost Reduction Energy Savings Perfomance Contract navy SPAWAR