Air Force Musters Help from Balfour Beatty to Cut Energy Use

Air Force Musters Help from Balfour Beatty to Cut Energy Use

Balfour Beatty is working Travis Air Force Base in a pilot project to reduce energy use and change consumption habits of base residents using smart grid technology, as part of the U.S. Defense Department's growing effort to reduce its environmental bootprint.

Overall, the Defense Department is working to reduce its energy consumption in the U.S. by 20 percent, and in privatized base housing consumption can be as much as 35 percent more than typically expected for comparable residential buildings.

The project at Travis involves two subsidiaries of the Balfour Beatty Capital Group -- Balfour Beatty Communities, which develops and operates privatized military housing, and Balfour Beatty Energy Solutions.

Balfour Beatty has in turn enlisted third-party energy management companies Ennovationz of Silicon Valley and EnergyHub Inc. to provide technology and resident communication services for the project, which is called "INergY: The Change is In You."

The project will include using energy monitors, prizes and rewards, energy saving technologies, audits and coaching sessions to attempt to change residents' consumption habits. Studies have shown that giving people information about their energy use is a strong motivator, that is heightened with further data about impacts (such as cost) and rewards and incentives.

DOD projects to green bases on a broad scale include efforts with GE at the vast Twentynine Palms Base in California, which houses the Marine Corps Combat Center, and with Johnson Controls at the naval base in Guam.

Image courtesy of Travis Air Force Base. Photo by Civ/Laura Fentress