NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Norfolk, Va. —
When it comes to switching off the lights at the end of the day, it's not only the right thing to do - it's the law. Section 202 of Executive Order 13123 sets energy conservation goals for the federal government.
Federal agencies including Norfolk Naval Shipyard have been ordered to reduce conventional energy consumption and it is the expectation that by the end of this year, 50 percent of total Department of the Navy (DON) energy will come from alternative sources.
In relation to that order, Dominion Energy “A days” are a part of its pricing plan designed to reduce energy used in peak periods, enabling participants to help Dominion better manage its existing generation resources, while providing environmental benefits, and ensuring that a steady and reliable stream of electricity is available for everyone.
In this plan, prices on the dynamic rate schedule change based on the day classification, as well as the time of day. During the summer, the highest prices are in the middle of the day; during the winter months, the highest prices are during the early morning and late at night. For Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), the rates vary from May 1 - Sep. 30, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Oct. 1 – Apr. 30, 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 5– 7 p.m.
Each day will be classified as a high-priced day (A Day), a medium-priced day (B Day) or a low-priced day (C Day). There will be no more than 28 high-priced “A days” per year, “C days” will be a minimum of 60 days per year, and “B days” will be NNSY’s most frequent.
”The cost of electricity during implementation times on ”A days” is about 28 cents per kilowatt-hour (KWH) compared to 5.5 cents for other hours. That is significant, especially if you consider the electrical consumption of the entire shipyard. Those cents add up to average about $3.5 million monthly,” said NNSY Installation Energy Manager Emory “Biff” Wilson.
Every member of the NNSY workforce can do his or her part with basic energy conservation measures. These measures include turning off lights not in use, securing any electrical source that is not required during the workday, and shutting down office equipment such as printers and copiers at the end of the workday.
Wilson stated, “Efforts could be especially productive for areas that only accommodate first shift by giving a little extra attention before departing. Make sure you are turning off lights and fans, or ensuring windows and doors are properly shut. Unplug other parasitic equipment like phone chargers and laptop power supplies. In areas that have local thermostats, turn set points up in the summer or down in the winter before leaving. There have been some good thoughts shared by some of the building monitors like shutting window blinds at optimum times to help reduce cooling loads.”
Air conditioners and space heaters are notorious consumers of electricity. First, both appliances draw an extraordinary amount of electricity. Second, use of items that are not government property puts employees, both military and civilian, at risk of violating fraud, waste and abuse regulations.
For years, the naval energy vision has been to have the Navy and Marine Corps lead the Department of Defense (DoD) and the nation in bringing about improved energy security, energy independence, and a new energy economy; however, it is common to walk into an empty office and find the lights on or a computer running. It is everyone’s responsibility to do their part in saving not only energy, but also money at home and in the workplace. Switching off a light may not seem like a big deal, but over time, the savings benefit us all.