war on energy waste

We should all look up at the lights and launch a War on Energy Waste

This War on Energy Waste Report is by Charlie Szoradi, CEO of Independence LED Lighting.

Media Coverage: The trending coverage ranges from articles in LED Journal, BizLED Magazine and LEDs Magazine to a tweet by country music superstar Tim McGraw, to over 2 million followers. Plus, Leonardo DiCaprio spoke passionately at the Academy Awards about Climate Change and GREENandSAVE referenced the War on Energy Waste in the article covering the Oscars. Also see: www.WarOnEnergyWaste.com.

A War on Energy Waste is a War that We can Win!

America has fatigue from the extraordinary costs of the War on Terrorism, War on Poverty, and War on Drugs. In each case, the high cost of time, treasure, and human life has delivered results that are far lower than expectations. A War on Energy Waste is WINNABLE given the high Return on Investment (ROI) from technology such as LED lighting that is available today.

As Republican and Democratic presidential candidates criss-cross America, they can add fresh content to their standard stump speeches. The highlights outlined here focus on cost-effective ways to achieve better health care and job creation for veterans and fund the fight against ISIS.

Here is an example for a state like South Carolina that is a military powerhouse with eight major installations and a military community generating over $15 billion in annual economic activity that supports over 130,000 jobs. 900 defense contracting firms are also executing US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts within the state. This data from the South Carolina Department of Commerce is just a small sub-set of the even larger national impact of our military.

According to the DoD, there are over 1.3 million men and women on active duty, 742,000 civilian personnel, and 826,000 serving in the National Guard and Reserve forces. The 2.8 million total makes the DoD our nation’s largest employer. DoD occupies more than 700,000 buildings at 5,000 different locations on over 30 million acres of land.

Across America, the presidential candidates may visit military bases and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. The VA is the largest integrated health care system in the US consisting of 152 medical centers and almost 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, Vet Centers and Domiciliaries. The VA cares for more than 8.3 million Veterans each year. In South Carolina, there are over 56,000 military retirees supported by the Regional Benefit Office in Columbia, two VA Medical Center Hospitals, four Vet Centers, and eleven Community Based Outpatient Clinics.

War on Energy Waste: When the presidential candidates visit any of the military bases or veteran facilities, they should look up at the ceiling for a simple reason. Military and civilian government facilities are wasting tax payer dollars at an extraordinary level with outdated lighting. Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology can cut the electricity consumption in half, and the private sector is embracing the high Return on Investment.

The order of magnitude is tremendous based on data from the General Services Administration (GSA) and LED performance metrics. The military and VA occupy more than 2.2 billion sq. ft. of buildings which is two thirds of the total 3.4 billion sq. ft. of federal government property. At $1 per sq. ft. to retrofit with LEDs, the annual energy savings is typically $.33 per sq. ft. or higher. The government could save over a billion dollars every year just by changing the lights and save more than 10 billion over the decade long life of the LED technology.

The billions in energy savings from a War on Energy Waste can serve many much needed purposes:

#1: Staffing nurses and support at the Veterans Medical Centers and Clinics
#2: Job training for Veterans in need of employment
#3: Fighting ISIS and other terror organizations


Over 500,000 NEW JOBS

A Quarter Trillion in Cost SAVINGS

3 Trillion lbs of CO2 Emissions Reduction

By launching a War on Energy Waste, the government can go beyond job training to also create opportunities for Veterans to work on many aspects of lighting retrofits. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) there are over 87 billion sq. ft. of commercial real estate in the U.S. With $1 per sq. ft. to retrofit and one new job created for every $150,000 in lighting retrofits, the employment ripple effect is over 580,000 new jobs. The employment includes counting lights to prepare savings analysis, utility rebate administration, installation, project management, engineering, and product production. Many of the jobs involve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) so the clean-tech work is foundational for 21st century careers. The national energy savings will exceed $287 billion over the next decade and yield over 3.4 trillion lbs of CO2 emissions reduction, the equivalent of taking about 30 million cars off the road.

As the CEO of Independence LED Lighting, I brought our LED manufacturing from China to Pennsylvania in 2010. We are one of multiple companies that have just scratched the massive potential of energy savings and job creation. Beyond our Fortune 100 and small business accounts, we have seeded the public sector with installations at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, the US Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, and over 30 US Navy ships for Military Sealift Command (MSC).

Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson along with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have all talked in different ways about health care, job creation, and combating terrorism. A War on Energy Waste starting in government buildings will help fund each initiative and also build a long term foundation for strength and American Energy Independence.


War on Energy Waste – Report Data Sources:

US Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/About-DoD/dod101

Today, the Department, headed by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.3 million men and women on active duty, and 742,000 civilian personnel, we are the nation’s largest employer. Another 826 thousand serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.

Headquarters of the Department of Defense, the Pentagon is one of the world’s largest office buildings. It is twice the size of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building in New York. Built during the early years of World War II, it is still thought of as one of the most efficient office buildings in the world. Despite 17.5 miles of corridors it takes only seven minutes to walk between any two points in the building.

The national security depends on our defense installations and facilities being in the right place, at the right time, with the right qualities and capacities to protect our national resources. Those resources have never been more important as America fights terrorists who plan and carry out attacks on our facilities and our people. Our military service members and civilians operate in every time zone and in every climate. More than 450,000 employees are overseas, both afloat and ashore.

The Defense Department manages an inventory of installations and facilities to keep Americans safe. The Department’s physical plant is huge by any standard, consisting of more than several hundred thousand individual buildings and structures located at more than 5,000 different locations or sites. When all sites are added together, the Department of Defense utilizes over 30 million acres of land.

These sites range from the very small in size such as unoccupied sites supporting a single navigational aid that sit on less than one-half acre, to the Army’s vast White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with over 3.6 million acres, or the Navy’s large complex of installations at Norfolk, Virginia with more than 78,000 employees.

US Department of Veterans Affairs http://www.va.gov/health/findcare.asp

The Veterans Health Administration is home to the United States’ largest integrated health care system consisting of 152 medical centers, in addition to nearly 1400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, Vet Centers and Domiciliaries. Together these health care facilities provide care to more than 8.3 million* Veterans each year.

US Department of Veterans Affairs – South Carolina http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?State=SC&dnum=ALL

South Carolina Department of Commerce


The military footprint in South Carolina is significant. The state is home to eight major military installations. According to the most recent Demographics Report prepared by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy), approximately 36,400 active duty military personnel, 19,100 military reserve personnel, and 10,400 Department of Defense Civilian personnel are operating in the state. The most current Statistical Report on the Military Retirement System indicates that over 56,000 military retirees reside in South Carolina. In addition, there are nearly 900 defense contracting firms executing Department of Defense contracts within the state.

South Carolina’s military community generated a total of $15.7 billion in economic activity and supported approximately 138,161 jobs earning $7.2 billion in annual employee compensation. Fort Jackson, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Shaw Air Force Base, Joint Base Charleston, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, and Naval Hospital Beaufort generated a combined total of over $13.33 billion in economic activity and supported 120,043 jobs in South Carolina. These jobs earned approximately $6.4 billion in annual employee compensation.

South Carolina Veterans Affairs locations:

1 Regional Benefit Office in Columbia

2 VA Medical Center Hospitals

4 Vet Centers

11 Community Based Outpatient Clinic

General Services Administration http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/ogp/FY_2010_FRPP_Report_Final.pdf

Comprehensive report with the size of real estate by agencies

US Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial/data/2012/index.cfm?view=characteristics#b3

Table B7. Building size, floor space: 87,043,000,000 Total US commercial sq. ft.

CO2 Reduction Data factored into this War on Energy Waste: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3 and https://independenceled.com/led-tube-co2-reduction/

Contact Independence LED (Contact Us) or request the Support Calculation files for this War on Energy Waste article: info@IndependenceLED.com