An article in USA Today reports that energy efficiency efforts by the United States military could lead to a $1.6 billion savings. Energy efficiency is the target of many government-sponsored programs, including green job training programs funded through Recovery Act grants. However, the federal government as a whole is also embracing the importance of energy efficiency — including the military.
In the article, Brian Winter describes a few energy-saving measures that the military has embarked upon including using spray foam insulation on military tents in Iraq and Afghanistan, HVAC upgrades, and solar panel installations. However, these measures aren’t being put in place purely for the environmental benefits, it is also a matter of national security.
Kevin Geiss, program director for energy security for the Army, was quoted in the USA Today article saying, “The Army’s mission is not to be green. Our mission is to defend the nation. In that context, we’ve found it’s in our interest to develop sustainable projects.”
So it is a win-win situation — the Army increases its ability to provide security for our country and reduces its environmental impact at the same time. Those in the green building industry have been touting the importance of a more energy-efficient building model as an important part of national security for some time.
At Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Al Gore repeatedly touched on the topic during his keynote address. Green building isn’t just part of the answer to the nation’s energy and economic crises, but it is also part of the solution to the nation’s security woes as well.
While the military is working on energy efficiency in-house, it also supports energy efficiency goals for its veterans. There are several green job training programs out there targeted to military veterans. These programs train vets to provide weatherization and energy audit services to residential and commercial customers. Green jobs for vets training programs were even featured in a recent Pentagon Channel segment.