LEXINGTON, Ky. – For several years, the state Energy and Environment Cabinet has recognized energy leaders who have made a tremendous impact in Kentucky. Kentuckians have benefitted from these progressive leaders who have inspired others to save energy and utilize alternative energy sources.
This year at the 41st Governor's Conference on Energy and the Environment, the Kentucky Army National Guard was the recipient of the Kentucky Excellence in Energy Leadership Award.
"This award is a culmination of years of good facility management and sound decision making about where to invest our maintenance and repair funds, constructing facilities using sustainable building techniques, as well as investing in renewable energy," said Col. Steve King, Construction and Facility Management Officer for the Kentucky Guard. "I'm pretty proud of the collective team effort to include our interagency partners within the state that support our contracting."
This year, the Kentucky National Guard was one of ten being recognized for their achievements. "The awards luncheon is a way for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to honor the efforts and commitment of those being awarded to preserving and enhancing this beautiful state of ours through energy efficiency, soil conservation, mine land reclamation, farmland stewardship or innovation," said Aaron Keatley, commissioner of the Department for Environmental Protection.
The Guard continues to lead the way in energy efficiency. Since 2003, the Guard has reduced its energy use by 62% with the net result of spending the same amount on utilities as in 2003, but with the addition of 700,000 square feet of conditioned space and having seen energy rates more than double. These efforts have generated an estimated savings of $3 million annually and continue to grow.
"At all of the armories and training sites statewide, we conduct analysis of utility bills and energy usage and try to reduce the amount of energy at each location, which in turn reduces the utility costs," said Will Phillips, Energy Manager for the KYARNG. "We've been doing a lot of upgrades, such as HVAC, digital controls that enable HVAC systems to automatically shut down during unoccupied periods, lighting upgrades and investment in renewable energy infrastructure. We will continue to focus on doing more with less."
The Guard has made a conscious effort on energy conservation and is becoming a national leader. "Our efforts in energy management have freed up operations and maintenance funds that would be needed to offset our utility burden. This has enabled us to execute facility improvements and modernization projects across the commonwealth providing our Soldiers modern readiness centers and training facilities," stated Capt. Kenny Staley, KYARNG Facilities Manager.
The Kentucky Guard manages over 2 million square feet of building space from Ashland to Paducah, in addition to 12,000 acres of training land. The mission of the organization is to find ways to save energy and money while getting the mission completed.