February 20, 2009
WASHINGTON - Naval Sea Systems Command announced Feb. 18 that Navy ships realized a record of more than $48 million in fuel cost avoidance during the first quarter of fiscal year 2009.
"This is the highest cost avoidance achieved in a quarter since the i-ENCON program was implemented fleet-wide in fiscal year 1999, said NAVSEA incentivized Energy Conservation (i-ENCON) Program Manager Hasan Pehlivan. "It also follows the program's record cost avoidance of more than $136 million for ship fuel conservation in fiscal year 2008."
The i-ENCON program is one of two major initiatives comprising the Navy's Energy Conservation Program, spearheaded by NAVSEA's Marine Engineering team. Committed to reducing ships' energy consumption by 10 percent each year, i-ENCON is a hands-on "Meet the Fleet" initiative. Program sponsors conduct routine meetings with ship operators to review specific fuel-saving procedures and recommend quarterly awards for ships with the most fuel-efficient operations.
Saving fuel saves money. These efforts increase fleet readiness by enabling Sailors at sea to train or deploy longer while spending the same amount of money on fuel.
One of the ways NAVSEA's i-ENCON measures fuel and cost avoidance is through underburn, the reported fuel rate for the quarter that's below the ship class' average burn rate.
"The underburn was 20.10 percent of the total first quarter fuel consumption (1,063,523 barrels), which exceeded the ENCON goal of 10 percent by a wide margin," said Pehlivan. "This unprecedented 20.10 percent underburn translates to a cost avoidance of 213,821 barrels, or $31.76 million for Atlantic Fleet ships. In addition, Pacific Fleet cost avoidance of 113,717 barrels, or $16.70 million resulted in a best quarter ever."
This unprecedented fleet performance may be partially attributable to ships receiving $2 million in cash awards distributed in the fourth quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2008 by Commander, Naval Surface Forces according to Pehlivan.
Pehlivan indicated that i-ENCON rewards leading fuel conservers among underway surface ships with special recognition and cash incentives up to $67,000. In FY 2008, 148 ships received incentive cash awards. Award money is routed to each commanding officer's discretionary funds, which are often used to buy items like damage control gear or to augment the ship's welfare and recreation programs.
"The incentives are very important to i-ENCON's success," Pehlivan added. "It's a voluntary program that requires real commitment from ships' commanding officers, chief engineers and main propulsion assistants. I receive calls and emails from ships every day wanting to know how they can participate and improve their fuel performance."
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