Keyport Naval Center Shines Light on Energy Waste

June 1, 2002

Relentless programs dedicated to saving energy, water, and money, and preventing pollution at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport, Washington, have put Keyport front and center in the Federal energy conservation spotlight.

NUWC Keyport was a recipient of the 2001 Federal Energy and Water Management Award and the 2001 Secretary of Navy Energy Award for reducing energy consumption by 8.7 percent in 2000 from the previous year—a 30 percent reduction compared to 1985 levels. Keyport also initiated a host of programs in FY 2000—including a spot market natural gas contract through the Defense Energy Support Center, saving $48,000 in the course of the year. In addition, its "water-wise" landscaping program saves 200,000 to 400,000 gallons of water per year and reduces the facility's landscape maintenance costs by $70,000 per year.

"This [award] is a tribute to the spirit of the Keyport employees and to their stewardship of the environment of the Keyport base," said Captain Mary Townsend-Manning, Commander of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport. But many at Keyport say that their experience in energy conservation has a lighter side, a point noted by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Hansford T. Johnson during the Secretary of Navy Energy Awards ceremonies in October 2001. Assistant Secretary Johnson noted the facility's nighttime energy patrols, led by flashlight-wielding Energy Manager Phil Beste, and its encounters with wildlife.

Keyport's nighttime energy conservation patrols are a proven success, reducing energy waste by identifying unnecessary lighting, equipment left powered up but unused, and HVAC controls set inappropriately for unoccupied areas. Unlike daytime patrols, nighttime energy sweeps set the stage for unique encounters. According to energy team members, it is not unusual to hear the shrieks of startled personnel who, while securing overhead lighting in cavernous warrens, inadvertently startle and enrage nesting Canada Geese. Armed with flashlights, facility energy teams fan out in groups of two or three through the darkened base. Teams have literally stumbled across nesting geese, surprised foraging raccoons, and been swooped upon by hunting owls and bats.

Keyport's night energy conservation patrols are another Department of Navy success story. Despite their unique brand of surprises, night patrols alone at Keyport resulted in an annual energy use reduction of 3 percent, proof again that small savings can result in big success.

For more information, please contact Phil Beste of NUWC at 360-396-5170 or