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Posted 10/24/2014

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By Julia Bobick
U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville

The Army’s Resource Efficiency Manager Program grew 82 percent in fiscal year 2014 with the addition of 19 REMs, which includes 11 new REMs at Army Reserve locations.

As available manpower resources have dramatically decreased over the past several years, installation energy programs have been severely impacted, according to Steve Patarcity, strategic plans officer and program manager for the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) in the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve. The REM Program, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, contracts energy subject matter experts who work with local energy managers to identify cost-effective programs and practices to reduce energy and water costs.

“The REM Program is an ideal ‘deal’ for the Army Reserve. What attracted us to this were the cost savings that can be engendered by contracting for the support,” Patarcity said. “We're no strangers to the program, having used it to support the National Roofing Initiative. The REM gives us that extra emphasis on costs savings and efficiency by providing support specifically for those areas.”

Since 2009, REMs have identified more than $135 million in potential energy savings and $20 million in realized savings for executed projects across the Army, according to Karen R. Moore, the REM Program Manager at Huntsville Center.

While the headquarters is picking up the tab for the REMs, Patarcity emphasized the REMs work for the local commander, not ARIMD. Working with an installation or organization energy manager, REMs take a holistic look at existing infrastructure, utilities and energy programs and provide a comprehensive energy portfolio for the installation to reduce energy costs, as well as meet federal mandates to use renewable energy sources.

REM services include the promotion, education and adoption of all manner of energy and water resource conservation and management activity necessary to optimize the use of installation utility resources, including but not limited to natural gas, coal, electricity, water and wastewater.

The program is designed to essentially pay for itself in that the contracted REMs must identify cost savings and operational efficiencies sufficient to offset their contract costs. In the May 12, 2013, 2012 Net Zero Progress Report, Hon. Katherine Hammack, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, recommended hiring a REM as one of four best practices to achieve Net Zero. In addition, the REMs work with the Huntsville Center Energy Division to access its Energy Portfolio Management Toolbox to help their customers achieve Net Zero.

“Achieving Net Zero is dependent on success in leveraging best practices and a full suite of energy programs,” according to Paul Robinson, chief of Huntsville Center’s Energy Division. The toolbox includes investigation and planning, execution and acquisition, and sustainment measurement and verification using all Huntsville Center energy programs.

“Like anything else, it costs in resources, but the projected rates of return more than justify the expenditure,” Patarcity said, calling the program “another tool in the tool box to achieve mission success.”

To date, every REM contracted by Huntsville Center has produced savings exceeding his or her contract costs, according to Moore. As an example, a REM at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, identified five years of overpayment of electric bills for Camp Bullis, which resulted in a $2 million utility rebate.

The Army Reserve REMs, many of whom have already started reporting, will be assigned at Fort Hunter Liggett,* California; Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area,* California; Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico; Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts; 63rd Regional Support Command (RSC) at Moffett Field, California, and Camp Robinson, Arkansas; 88th RSC at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; the 99th RSC at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and the 9th Mission Support Command at Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii.

Huntsville Center has an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Multiple Award Task Order Contract with a pool of four REM contractors available to any federal agency. Each task order is competed among the pool to ensure the most value to the agency. 

“The advantage Huntsville Center has over others is that we offer a full one-stop-shop REM service to include contracting officer representatives, centralized program and project management, dedicated and technical engineering support, legal services and contracting experts,” Moore said. “Our dedicated and experienced project development team and streamlined and standardized acquisition process assist customers to not only acquire the REM but also manage all the associated duties of the contract from customer request throughout the life of the contract.”

Current REM Locations

  • U. S. Army Aviation & Missile Research Development & Engineering Center, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
  • Dugway Proving Ground, Utah
  • Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Fort Bliss, Texas*
  • Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • Fort Campbell, Kentucky
  • Fort Carson, Colorado*
  • Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • Fort Irwin, California
  • Fort Knox, Kentucky
  • Fort Meade, Maryland
  • Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate, National Roofing Initiative, Tyler, Texas
  • Installation Management Command Headquarters, San Antonio, Texas
  • Oregon National Guard*
  • West Point, New York*

* Net Zero Pilot Installations

Efficiency Energy REM