Pryor Seeks to Move Military Toward Energy-Efficiency
Senator Mark Pryor is seeking to reduce energy bills for military households and the Pentagon, enhance energy security and protect the environment by installing energy efficient technologies in base housing and facilities.
Pryor said he believes the Pentagon can trim its soaring fuel bill, which hit $7.4 billion last year, by applying Energy Star standards in new construction for housing and base facilities. To achieve this goal, Pryor introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill to require the military to adhere to the Energy Star standards, a program established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 to encourage businesses, organizations and individuals to install energy efficient technologies in homes and workplaces.
"We all have a responsibility to reduce energy consumption in our homes, vehicles and workplaces," Pryor said. "Our military can help lead by example while also saving taxpayers money through lower energy bills and providing greater energy security for our nation. My amendment gives the Pentagon the push it needs to start placing a priority on these goals now."
Pryor said military personnel would benefit from Energy Star homes, which use about 30 percent less energy than other homes and thus cost about 30 percent less to operate. For example, he said the average household spends an estimated $1,900 each year on energy bills. By requiring military contractors to install Energy Star-qualified products, a military household could save about $600 a year. Typical features of an Energy Star home include advanced insulation, tight construction, high-performance windows and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.
Second, Pryor's provision would require new construction for base facilities to follow the EPA's guidelines for Superior Energy Management, which includes a top level commitment to allocate resources to energy projects, routine assessment of energy use in all operations and buildings, and an integrated approach to control, operate and maintain energy efficient equipment.
Third, Pryor said his amendment supports the underlying provisions in the Defense Authorization Bill that calls for the Pentagon to begin exploring the options and potential use of alternative fuels for their vehicles.
In 2002, EPA estimates Energy Star products and energy management practices saved more than 100 billion kWh of electricity, saved consumers and businesses more than $7 billion, and prevented emissions equivalent to those from more than 14 million automobiles.