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Marine barracks enter new energy-saving era

Lance Cpl. Daniel Boothe

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Solar panels now sit atop Camp Pendleton’s most newly renovated barracks as enlisted quarters across the base begin to see energy-saving improvements.

The recent upgrades to the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters are intended to meet long-term energy initiatives mandated by U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway, which include increasing renewable electric energy and reducing water consumption.

“We want to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent and water by 60 percent by 2015,” said Conway. “We would also like to increase, by 25 percent, the reusable energy sources we use.”

Solar panels on BEQ rooftops will contribute to that goal by generating approximately 15 to 20 percent of the facilities estimated total power usage.

Newly installed dual-flush toilets will also provide occupants with a handle that controls how much water is used. Pulling upward activates a reduced flush, designed for liquid and paper wastes, which reduces the amount of water used by 30 percent.

“All of our newly renovated and constructed buildings now use the low-flow technology,” said Charles Howell, resource efficiency manager, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “We have also updated all the lighting to the most energy efficient system,” he added.

Low-mercury lighting now fills every room of the energy-efficient barracks. The new fluorescent lighting uses 75 percent less energy and lasts up to ten times longer than traditional incandescent lights.

“You will also find the most efficient state-of-the-art appliances in each room,” said Howell.

New energy-efficient appliances include a microwave-refrigerator combo that uses half the energy of previously used 10-year-old models. When the microwave operates the refrigerator shuts off momentarily to conserve power.

New washer and dryers and high-efficiency boilers, used to control the temperature, tops off the new energy-saving barracks.

“We will be more energy efficient. We have to be,” said Conway in his closing remarks during last years’ Marine Corps Energy Summit.

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