How the U.S. Army Reserve is Leading the Nation in Energy Conservation {Interview}

How the U.S. Army Reserve is Leading the Nation in Energy Conservation {Interview}


IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION & SAVE ENERGY-Lessons from the U.S. Army Reserve

October is Energy Action Month. It’s the time of year when the federal government wants us to turn our attention toward the importance of energy for our sustainability and environmental well-being. The message of saving energy hopefully can reach everyone through this October promotion, and who better to lead the way than the U.S. Army Reserve.

The U.S. is one of the leading consumers of energy in the world, according to the Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2016, and the Federal Government is the leading consumer of energy in the country.  The Army Reserve relies upon continuous access to electricity, fuel and other forms of energy to sustain every mission – whether engaging in conflict around the world or providing disaster response in communities across the nation.

It is key for the Army Reserve to be energy-secure, as energy touches almost every aspect of the mission, from the power required to operate its facilities to the fuel required to operate its vehicles. Without energy, civilian and Soldier life would come to a halt. So, what would happen if there was a disruption of our vital energy supplies? While the Army Reserve hopes they will never need to know, they are in the forefront of promoting energy conservation and increasing energy efficiency through diverse projects.

For long-term energy security, the Army Reserve continuously strives to reduce energy use. For instance, several sites throughout the Army Reserve have significantly reduced their energy consumption by as much as 85%, by replacing fluorescent lights with light emitting diodes, (which save electricity). From 2015 to 2017, overall, the U.S. Army Reserve has reduced its energy use by 17.7 percent through conservation efforts, efficiency technologies and renewable sources.

The Army Reserve energy conservation effort provides an opportunity to help the public understand the concept of energy and help promote smart energy practices at home while being mindful of the need for energy conservation to ensure our future well-being.

Join me in a recent interview with Paul Wirt, chief of the Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch, as he discusses:

  • Why look we should look to the U S Army Reserve for ideas?
  • Why is it important for all to learn about conserving energy?
  • Tips to help people incorporate these examples in their daily live and at work.

Listen to the entire interview here:

Some highlighted energy saving ideas include:

  •  Power down computer monitors at end of each day
  • Unplug electronics that aren’t in use for extended periodS
  • When buying electronics or appliances, choose Energy Star models

For more information, go to, #energysmartarmystrong

Paul Wirt.jpg


Mr. Paul Wirt assumed the responsibilities of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate’s Energy Program Team Lead in September 2012 and is now chief of the Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch. Under his tutelage, the Army Reserve has become a leader in sustainability in the Department of Defense. Among other duties, he is responsible for Army Reserve sustainability initiatives; environmental programming and planning; and the Energy, Water and Waste Net Zero programs. He has been instrumental in developing a Building Energy Monitor Program; implementing a comprehensive facility evaluation process; initiating an Enterprise Building Control System to increase energy efficiency at sites across the enterprise; and piloting Integrated Strategic and Sustainability Planning across the Army Reserve.

Mr. Wirt’s career in Army sustainability spans nearly two decades. From 2000 to 2010, Mr. Wirt was the Chief of Environmental Management for the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was the primary architect of the Fort Bragg sustainability program, which served as the pilot program for the Army’s sustainability initiatives. Mr. Wirt’s work with the Installation Planning Office in 2005 led to the first Army installation-level strategic plan that fully integrated the Triple Bottom Line of Mission, Environment and Community into all facets of the Garrison’s vision, long-range goals and daily operations. He managed the Energy and Utilities Program for the Southeast and Atlantic Region of the Army’s Installation Management Command from 2010 to 2012.

A native of Wytheville, Virginia, Mr. Wirt graduated from Virginia Tech in 1985, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction.

He was commissioned in the United States Army and went on to serve as a combat engineer officer. While serving as an Airborne Ranger with the 82nd Airborne Division during Desert Storm, he was injured and medically retired as an Army Captain and honored war veteran.

The Federal Energy Management Program honored Mr. Wirt with a Career Exceptional Service Award in 2017.


Interview and bio photo courtesy: U.S. Army Reserve

Cynthia Tait

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