Naval Hospital Bremerton’s Energy Awareness Day on Oct. 24 reminded everyone that their obligation to being energy efficient and their commitment to maintaining established energy standards is an ongoing process generating positive results.
“The Navy is changing the energy culture by linking energy consumption to behavior through awareness and accountability at every level of the command. NHB is doing its part through Plan of the Week notices, educational displays during Earth Day and Energy Awareness Month and energy surveys of equipment and usages. Our goal is to reduce our consumption, but also the energy we use to be efficient,” stated Robert Mitchell, NHB’s Environmental Sustainability Program Manager and Command Energy Manager.
The Quarterdeck was decorated with energy awareness static displays and free energy awareness items were handed out by “BRITE” the energy team’s mascot for Naval Base Kitsap and Navy Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest. BRITE also brought the command’s energy awareness to numerous clinics and departments lighting by visiting with staff and sharing information how even little touches can lead to energy savings and increased energy stewardship.
NHB’S Executive Officer, Capt. Maureen Pennington embodied BRITE’s spirit and asked staff members, “What are you doing to help conserve energy?”
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jason Corless of NHB Operational Readiness Department said he and his family maintain cognizant energy saving thoughts both at work and at home.
“I’ve got all the energy saving lights at home and we’re always turning things off when we leave. We’re making a difference and my kids are learning too,” said Corless.
Mitchell said the benefits of energy conservation lead to an overall healthier world, noting that Energy Awareness Day is a chance for personnel and patients alike to review recent energy efficiency projects at NHB and see how they have contributed to sustainability at the hospital.
“As a health care facility, the hospital shares a vital interest in the continued good health and health maintenance of the personnel, patients and visitors at the hospital. Certainly the reduction of greenhouse gases and pollution associated with energy efficiency contribute to an environment of sustainability,” said Mitchell,
Mitchell cited that because of the higher energy awareness policies already implemented at the hospital the facility provides ultimately a better environment for patients.
“Recycling is actually an energy awareness activity in itself since it reduces the pollution associated with the transformation of raw materials into final waste goods. Energy tips are distributed on a monthly basis to personnel in order to keep them informed of energy efficiency techniques and help them incorporate energy efficiency in their daily work routines. Better health for all is a result of energy use reduction,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell also suggested several ways to help save energy.
“We want staff to be attentive throughout the day of energy and water use. Learn the correct reporting process and report waste or excess use. Follow up to make sure that the waste is mitigated. Make these practices a matter of daily routine as part of workplace procedures. Report poor performing or energy wasting equipment and learn to live with reduced temperatures in non-patient care areas in the winter, and higher temperatures in the summer,” said Mitchell.
Richard J. Owen, NHB Facilities Management Utility Manager, also added that it is always the little things that help to save a lot of resources and money.
“We all need to remind ourselves of things we need to do to save a little that we may not think of at the end of or work day. Every staff members needs to turn off all charger systems, phone chargers, radios, speakers, calculators, desk lights when not in use and make sure they are turned off at night,” said Owen.
Ramon Calantas, NHB Environmental Technician, said the annual holding of Energy Awareness Day allows the command to focus on ways to reduce energy without affecting patient care.
“It’s a day to plant the seed for continual energy awareness. Let’s look forward to implementing motion sensors and photocells for lighting controls and remember the continual replacement, maintenance and repair of hospital systems to provides the most energy efficiency,” said Calantas.
Mitchell added that while saving energy everywhere is part of the command’s environmental stewardship and grounded in good common sense, it’s especially important in a naval hospital environment.
“In a medical treatment facility it is often difficult due to many energy sources directly affecting patient care. Temperatures, humidity and air flow have a heightened sense of importance in a medical facility. Energy awareness to us also includes the knowledge to know where energy can be reduced, and to what level as to not affect patient care. We also need to ensure actions are not taken in the name of energy efficiency that have an adverse affect on patient care, and at the same time, continue to do our part to reduce energy,” said Mitchell.
John Payne, NHB’s Resource Conservation Manager, noted the hospitals newly installed condenser boilers are just one example of the hospital’s energy saving projects.
“The newly installed condenser boilers are running at a 95.5 percent efficiency level. Compared to the old boilers that performed at an 80 percent level, this is a significant improvement. We’re also using less water as its being recycled back through the boilers system. We all benefit and the savings go to facility improvements and repairs, and fuel for the fleet,” said Payne.
According to the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, reforming energy use and policy within the Department of the Navy will assure the long-term energy security of the United States, encourage development of efficiencies, and promote environmental stewardship.
“In doing so, we will improve the combat and operational effectiveness of our Forces and maintain our position as the finest Navy and Marine Corps in the world,” stated Mabus.
Press Release, October 29, 2013; Image: US Navy