Army on track to double President's energy-saving contracting goal

Monday - 3/26/2012, 4:19pm EDT

Army officials announced the service is on track to more than double a Presidential goal for investments in energy efficiency projects.

Richard Kidd (Photo: Army.mil)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability Richard Kidd said Thursday the Army would likely invest $800 million in performance-based contracts over the next two years to realize energy savings and efficiencies at its multitude of bases and facilities.

That brings the total amount of planned investments through energy-saving performance contracts to nearly $2.5 billion.

In a Dec. 2 memo, President Barack Obama directed federal agencies and departments to take new steps toward increasing the energy efficiency of federal facilities, in part through the use of performance-based contracting.

Specifically, the memo announced the federal government would enter into at least $2 billion in performance-based contracts to achieve greater energy efficiencies of federal buildings over the following two years.

Through the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts and Utility Energy Services Contracts, the Army works with private companies to construct, maintain, and operate energy-efficient equipment and designs, often with no upfront costs to the service. Over time, those investments are essentially repaid in the form of lower energy bills, a portion of which is used to pay the contractor.

Kidd: Every soldier an energy manager

Kidd told Federal News Radio last month that the authority to issue these contracts has been on the books since the 1990s. "What the issue is, how to maximize the use of those authorities in a manner that is business-savvy and maximizes the value for the Army but also recognizes that it has to provide value for the private entity," he said.

In his speech last week, Kidd said the Army had worked closely with the Energy Department and the Defense Logistics Agency to cut the time it takes to award the energy contracts. The average time to award for the Army is 12 to 14 months, compared to an overall federal average of 26 months in 2010.

"In the Army, we say that every soldier is an energy manager," Kidd said. "Many folks are part of the development team. We were on track to accomplish this aggressive plan with or without the Presidential directive, but the federal goal puts into perspective just how far the Army has gone in developing energy projects at no additional expense to the taxpayer," Kidd said.

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This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.