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Posted 11/28/2016

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By Amy Newcomb
Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville

Resource efficiency managers from various organizations attended a workshop held Nov. 17-18 by the Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.

The workshop, for Huntsville Center contracted REMs, provided information on how they could be more successful in getting proposed projects into the federal government budget.

“This workshop showed REMs and various customers the ‘reach back’ that HNC provides,” Dominic Ragucci, REM program manager, said. “It also provided collaboration between other contracted REMs, REMs and customers, and let the REMs know that HNC is inclusive to them for their success.”

The Redhorse Corporation is a service provider that supports the Huntsville Center and the center’s customers, said Ben Hough, Redhorse Corporation’s vice president and lead for the company’s REM practice.

While this was Hough’s first time to attend the workshop, he has been providing REMs to federal customers for more than 15 years, and said it provided a great training opportunity for the REMs that Redhorse supports.

“This was an opportunity for the REMs to get training on REM concepts … and it was an opportunity to meet our Huntsville customer,” Hough said. “I’m a big believer that the more people you know face-to-face, the easier it is to pick up a phone … and open up the communication lines and find out the resources we have at Huntsville Center.”

The Huntsville Center’s REM program increases installation energy program effectiveness by identifying programs and practices to reduce energy and water costs through a contracted subject matter expert.

“Installations receive mandates brought down from various executive orders, and they need help to achieve these mandates, which is why they hire REMs,” Ragucci said.

Resource efficiency managers provide expertise to identify infrastructure energy improvements on government facilities to reduce garrison energy and water utilization to meet the Army’s 30 percent energy and 15 percent water reduction goals. They also provide support for facility repair and construction activity, project management, construction coordination and other energy-related activities.

Many REMs come from the commercial side, so they are used to money being readily available, but the government can take up to two years, said John Trudell, energy information management program manager.

“To propose a project is one thing, but to actually get the savings and projects in place is another,” Trudell said.

The REM program is designed to be self-sustaining in that the contracted REM must identify savings opportunities that more than offset the cost of the REM service. For example, the 9th Mission Support Command at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, identified a building automation system for four buildings with an estimated savings of $650,000 over 10 years.