PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- As Earth Month continues, the Navy in Hawaii conducted the second installment of Earth Day themed interview segments April 16 to highlight energy conservation at shore installations and at sea.
Kate Ramirez, from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii (NAVFAC), and Lt. Cmdr. Robert Franklin III, operations officer for Commander Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, appeared on the local FOX affiliate KHON2's morning show to discuss energy conservation initiatives both ashore and at sea.
Light emitting diodes (LED) lights are making their way onto ships and are already in use ashore in an effort to reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and save money.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) is home to the first LED-equipped U.S Navy ship, the guided-missile destroyer USS Chaffee (DDG 90), according to Franklin.
"Just like in our homes or workplaces we're interested - in the Navy - in saving energy any way we can on our ships, whether we're at sea operating or whether we are plugged into our piers at Pearl Harbor," says Franklin, who demonstrated the difference in energy use between old incandescent bulbs and new LEDs.
"We know we can save about $50,000 per year, per ship with this. Our ability to keep our ships and aircraft on station and on mission is directly tied to how much energy we use, so we take it very seriously."
LEDs save not only money, but also time and the environment.
"It's a great benefit for our Sailors and the environment as well. Our Sailors spend less time changing out light bulbs. And for the environment these LED lights don't contain any hazardous material so they're cleaner and they're safer for the environment," Franklin said.
The move toward LED lighting on ships began in Pearl Harbor, with installation aboard Chafee in 2011. Other Pearl Harbor-based DDGs have either received the installation or will within the year.
"We're extremely proud of two of our own ships in Hawaii, the Chaffee and the Preble (DDG 88) for leading the charge; they are the first two ships in the Navy to fully convert each of their lights - that's over 4,000 per ship - to LED," says Franklin.
Navy leaders recently announced LED lights will be the standard for all new ship construction.
LED technology is also considered a bright idea ashore and key to sustainability.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam uses LED lights on one of its most visible holiday displays, the Freedom Tower near Hickam Field.
For the past 45 years the 171-foot high, 76-year old water tower, dubbed the "Freedom Tower," has been illuminated at night during the holiday season, and 2014 marked the first year LED lights were used.
"We upgraded from a 25 watt incandescent ... to a 5 watt LED," Ramirez said.
"We have over 7,000 light bulbs on the Freedom Tower, and that's about an 80% drop in the system wattage. We figure that saved us about $660 just over the four-week holiday season," Ramirez added.
A working power meter was brought into the KHON2 studio to compare the power consumed by both incandescent and LED light bulbs. As soon as the meter was switched over to the LED bulb, Ramirez pointed out the difference.
"That black disc slows down quite a bit, showing you the LED is using significantly less energy," she said.
Various energy security demonstrations are being held throughout the month at the Navy Exchange and other locations, including at the April 23 Pearl Harbor Colors ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Earth Day is April 22, several events will be held at various Navy locations in Hawaii throughout the week of April 20-24.