Navy's Sugar Grove Hailed for Leadership in Energy Efficiency

June 1, 2002

Renowned for its environmental charms—from lush valleys to wild rivers—West Virginia is a place of immense beauty and environmental challenges. Nestled in its own green pocket near the eastern edge of the State, the Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Sugar Grove is building a strong reputation as a West Virginia environmental champion. Sandwiched between the Monongahela National Forest to the west and Virginia's Shenandoahs and the George Washington National Forest to the east, NSGA Sugar Grove has consistently distinguished itself for its green ethics. The base has been designated a Point of Light by the Corporation for National and Community Service for leading its community in recycling, conserving natural resources and wild areas, and preventing pollution.

This past fall, NSGA Sugar Grove also became a recipient of the Secretary of Navy's Energy Award for its exemplary program. The energy program team at NSGA Sugar Group was hailed for its leadership and commitment to comprehensive energy efficiency program implementation and effectiveness. Sugar Grove's success stories can be replicated at Department of Navy facilities worldwide.

In FY 2000, NSGA Sugar Grove reduced its energy consumption 22 percent by embarking on a comprehensive array of energy- and money-saving initiatives. The base upgraded lighting systems saving approximately $32,000 per year. The base's natural gas system was also renovated, saving the facility $5,500 annually. A $25,000 investment for the repair of electrical grid components is saving the base an estimated $5,000 per year. NSGA Sugar Grove also replaced two 20-year-old air conditioning units with one packaged terminal air conditioning (PTAC) unit; replaced electric heating units with PTAC units; and replaced a 30-year-old furnace with three PTAC units.

Sugar Grove metered its gas and electric usage to track consumption and target facilities for load-shedding and energy conservation programs. Energy managers met with Allegheny Power, the local utility company, and engineers from Naval Facilities Engineering Command-Atlantic Division to determine the feasibility of load shedding. The base also worked with Allegheny Power to purchase natural gas on the spot market.

NSGA Sugar Grove also effectively communicates the importance of energy conservation to personnel. The base conducted numerous Energy Awareness Week activities and distributed Navy energy awareness T-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles, and other outreach materials. Tours of the base's recycling center were also offered. The base's annual energy fair highlighted the importance of conserving water and featured demonstrations of water-efficient fixtures and heat sensor meter technology used to detect defective electrical components and faulty connections.

"Energy conservation is very important to the entire Navy community at Sugar Grove," said Commander Forbes MacVane, Commanding Officer of Naval Security Group Activity Sugar Grove. "It's a team effort which not only helps how we do our mission but also saves the Navy and U.S. taxpayers money."

"The Sugar Grove team will continue to explore and implement new and innovative energy conservation programs," MacVane said. "While better lighting was the focus of this year's work, our command, which experiences very hot and cold weather, will look for ways to improve air conditioning and heating efficiency. Education and new technology will continue to play a major role in our energy conservation program," he said.

For more information, please contact Jack Hedrick of NSGA Sugar Grove at 304-249-6340 or