Fort Riley, Kansas



Providing green energy

By Andy Massanet | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | October 27, 2017

     A vital player in the efforts to pare down Fort Riley’s ener­gy consumption is Corvias, the contractor that manages the post’s 3,827 private residences, including approximately 2,100 homes constructed since 2007.

     With that many individual units, the Corvias staff works to both provide energy efficient dwellings and foster awareness in the benefits of energy con­servation, said Clayton Boyer, operations director for Corvias at Fort Riley.

     “In addition to the 2,100 new construction homes, Cor­vias has renovated approxi­mately 1,300 additional homes installing energy efficient appli­ances and performing heating, ventiliation and air condition­ing system upgrades to include installation of storm windows on many of the historic homes on main post,” Boyer said.

      According to Dan Mc­Callister of the Utilities and Energy branch, Director­ate of Public Works, private residences together make up roughly 30 percent of on-post energy use.

      Looked at another way, however, a seemingly small thing like leaving a light bulb on needlessly can add up, es­pecially if that use is multi­plied 3,827 times.

     Mike Witmer, chief of utili­ties and energy branch, opera­tions and maintenance, Direc­torate of Public Works, uses the example of a single compact fluorescent light — used to re­place many traditional incan­descent light bulbs — left on needlessly 24 hours a day in the garage or a closet for a full year.

     If the bulb uses 15 watts of power and that use extends over that period of time, 131 kilowatt hours will have been used. That is approximately $10.24 of electricity.

      “Now, if every home did that it would be $39,200 of electricity over a one-year pe­riod,” Witmer said, adding, “a CFL light bulb is a very, very small user of electricity com­pared to air conditioning, re­frigerators, computers, game systems, televisions etc. but it still would cost $39,000 per year. Changing the thermostat setting one degree will change your energy consumption 2.5 percent. Simply turning off a computer for an hour each day when not it use would save $9 per computer for each hour the computer is turned off.”

     Corvias uses two ways to encourage energy austerity. First, through the Live Army Green program and its web­site riley.corviasmilitaryliv­, residents learn of the high priority the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army place on energy conservation.

     The website provides a way for Soldiers and their families who live in Corvias Military Living homes to track their en­ergy consumption and “reward Soldiers for their successful con­tribution to the conservation effort,” the website says.

      To help Corvias and mili­tary residents at Fort Riley do that, Corvias has contracted with YES — Yardi Energy So­lutions to provide billing and energy monitoring services.

     “YES energy is our third party utility billing service which helps implement and manage the Live Army Green program on the majority of on post family homes,” Boyer said. “The program ultimately encourages residents to con­serve energy, offering credits to those residents that fall under the consumption base­line on a monthly basis for a respective billing profile.”

      According to the Corvias Fort Riley website, “it moni­tors electricity and natural gas usage in Fort Riley's family housing. The company also calculates monthly baselines, processes utility payments and issues rebates … each resident of privatized hous­ing currently in the program (renovated or newer con­struction homes) will receive a utility consumption base­line determined by the aver­age usage of similar homes.”

      Part of the method is to establish an average baseline automatically accounted for by the utility portion of basic allowance for housing.

     The website goes on to say, that “residents who con­sume less than the baseline will be rewarded for their conservation efforts … resi­dents who consume more than the baseline will be re­sponsible for the difference between their consumption and the baseline.

      Thus, through the Live Army Green program and the use of YES Energy, Corvias has provided incentives to Soldiers to work toward the conservation of resources at Fort Riley.