Energy projects at DFSP Tampa conserve energy, save money

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Replacing incandescent and high-wattage sodium lighting to high efficiency lighting is improving energy conservation and cost savings capability at Defense Fuel Support Point Tampa.

“Installation of light-emitting diode lighting for interior and exterior lights not only reduces wattages, but also saves recurring maintenance costs, thus cost savings opportunities are much greater,” said DLA Installation Support for Energy Resource Manager Kristi Yu. “High pressure sodium and incandescent lightbulbs no longer have to be replaced as often since the LEDs  have much longer life spans of approximately 50,000 hours per fixture and consume at least 84 percent less energy than the HPS and incandescent bulbs they replace.”

The switch to LED lighting for interior and exterior lights will save more than $11,579 a year, Yu said.

As a permitted site, DFSP Tampa utility costs are paid by DLA Energy to the Air Force offices at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa.

To find cost savings, Yu worked with DLA headquarters and DLA Energy to make the four government-owned, contractor-operated DFSPs more energy efficient through upgrading high-wattage lights with LEDs, replacing inefficient motors and pumps with high efficiency-rated equivalents and onsite renewable energy generation capabilities.

“When I performed energy audits at our DFSPs, I found incandescent lighting as well as 1000 watt per bulb high pressure sodium lighting,” Yu said, whose job is to comply and conform to federally mandated energy conservation goals and develop new energy savings projects and optimize existing infrastructure to work more efficiently. “I was very surprised to find these … I knew I had to actively pursue lighting upgrade implementation.”  

The energy savings at DFSP Tampa went beyond just lightbulbs.

In December 2014, Yu successfully secured funds for the installation of a new solar project to capture solar power and save more than $80,000 per year in energy costs. The funding was approved by the Department of Energy under the Energy Conservation Investment Program. ECIP is part of the Department of Defense’s strategy to improve the energy performance of its fixed installations through construction of new, high efficiency energy systems and improving and modernizing existing energy systems. The projects are designed to save energy or water, produce energy or, in general, reduce DoD’s energy costs.

“The solar photovoltaic project was approved for funding, but not the lighting portion,” Yu said. “So to replace the 1000 watt per lightbulb and incandescent (lightbulbs) with LEDs at DFSP Tampa, internal funding support was needed.”

Funding was obtained after Yu presented the DLA Installation Support for Energy leadership with a performed economic and engineering analysis showing the lighting upgrade project would benefit DLA with energy conservation and cost savings opportunities.  

“(Yu) showed us a breakdown of the savings we can expect from bulb replacements,” said DLA Energy Chief Facilities Management Branch Chief David Poindexter. “The use of energy efficient lighting is required per Executive Order 13693, so this project served the dual purpose of saving Defense Working Capital Funds as well as bringing DFSP Tampa into conformance.”

The Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funding enabled the new interior lights to be paired up with dimmable light switches and exterior lights, paired up with photocells for maximum energy cost savings.

“We pay into utilities right now anyway for those inefficient lighting on site,” Poindexter said. “So if we use that money to upgrade the lights, we not only get to save money, but also conform to federally mandated goals. In addition, we reduce carbon footprints and make a difference in meeting the federally mandate goals in energy intensity reduction annually.”

DFSP Tampa is now 100 percent LEDs, Yu said.

“The actual savings data will be tracked and monitored through utility metering, and we expect a return on investment over just a few years,” Poindexter said.