HUNTSVILLE, Alabama--Resource efficiency managers from around the world attended Huntsville Center’s REM workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, Feb. 26-28.
The workshop for Huntsville Center contracted REMs coincided with Energy Huntsville’s Energy Summit at the Huntsville Marriott Hotel at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
Energy Huntsville is a volunteer-based, nonprofit dedicated to growing the Huntsville region’s economy in the energy sector and establishing Huntsville as the “go-to technology” center for solutions to energy programs and projects.
Huntsville Center’s REM program provides contracted subject-matter experts to Department of Defense branch installations to increase energy program effectiveness by identifying programs and practices to reduce energy and water costs and meet resilience and security requirements.
“Our REMs provide expertise to identify infrastructure energy improvements on government facilities to significantly reduce energy and water utilization, and our annual workshops are set to increase each REMS knowledge and understanding of what each of them is doing at their respective garrison,” said John Trudell, Huntsville Center’s REM program manager.
Trudell said this was the second time the program coincided with the Energy Huntsville Energy Summit.
He said the reason for the events to coincide was to allow REMs to get face-time with other attending REM and energy industry representatives and participate in focused seminars, such as Cybersecurity and Energy Resiliency. Most of the 200 people attending the Energy Summit were from state and municipal governments or private industry.
On Feb. 28, the REMs gathered at Huntsville Center for a day-long run down of processes and programs relevant to their specific jobs at their installations.
Gayle Hoffman is one of the REMs at Naval Base Guam. She has only been in the position for two months, but she said she is learning and looking forward to getting back so she can implement programs for her command.
For Hoffman, attending the Energy Summit and the REM workshop has been eye opening.
“I’m learning a lot of new terminology and acronyms associated with the job and meeting with other REMs and industry representative has helped me fill in a lot of gaps,” Hoffman said.
“I’ve also learned a lot about energy resiliency priorities that has a wide focus across all service branches. It has been great meeting with vendors and learning about public/private partnerships and to meet with the other REMs and hear about their experiences and learn from them too,” Hoffman said.
Although Hoffman is new to the REM program, she knows attending professional workshops, conferences and taking part in REM training opportunities is fundamental to her position.
Education and related experience is mandatory for all REM levels and varies for each qualification level. Within one year after employment, all REMs must receive energy management certification as a Certified Energy Manager.
Huntsville Center’s REM program has ensured millions of dollars in savings for military installations across the globe.
Some REMs are working towards completing the current year’s Installation Energy and Water Plans (IEWPs) mandated by the DOD. Trudell said In the process of completing the IEWPs, energy saving projects will be identified. Trudell cited examples of recent savings as the REM at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, received a rebate for the amount of $804,000; the REM at Camp Pike, Arkansas replaced the inefficient 80 gallon cast iron boiler (71 percent efficient) with inline tankless water heaters (95 percent efficient) for a savings of more than $125,000, and REMs at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, identified more than $500,000 in direct savings by analyzing water and sewage bills and receiving credit for previous errors.
“We have a strong record of our REMs developing projects to improve the facilities for the Soldier, provide secure resilient power to ensure mission readiness, and finding projects to save energy and money,” Trudell said.
“Getting most of the REMs under one roof once a year for the REM workshop gives them a chance to explore each other’s programs and projects and offers them the opportunity to learn from one another, teach them additional ways to reduce energy and water consumption and save the DOD money. That’s good for both the taxpayer and the environment.”