Energy Program Management Office earns federal award for energy, water management efforts

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs

The Energy Program Management Office at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, recently earned the 2021 Federal Energy and Water Program Management Award.

The award recognizes Robins for outstanding contributions related to energy and water cost savings, optimized energy and water use, and/or the use of advanced and distributed energy technologies at federal facilities in Fiscal Year 2020.

The Energy PMO, established in April 2020, is a combined team of seven civilian employees from the 78th Civil Engineer Group with the 78th Air Base Wing and 402nd Maintenance Support Group with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex that coordinates with stakeholders to ensure adequate energy related utilities for all of Robins’ mission partners.

Scott Sheffield, chief of the Energy Program Management Office, said the award was won by the PMO team implementing innovative solutions at Robins.

“The PMO leverages the synergy between these organizations at Robins as well as inclusion of subject matter experts from Civil Engineering, Contracting, Operations and Maintenance, Environmental, and others across the base as needed,” he said. “It also operates collaboratively with outside organizations including the Air Force Civil Engineering Center, the Under Secretary of the Air Force for Installations and Energy, the Air Force Office of Energy Assurance, the Air Force Sustainment Center, the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 6, the Air Force Materiel Command, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Defense Logistics Agency, and others to assist in providing solutions to our energy issues.”

Through the years, there has always been efforts to reduce energy consumption, replace aging infrastructure, and increase resiliency, Sheffield said.

“Energy efforts were pursued by individuals challenged with cross-organizational responsibilities,” he said. “Leadership buy-in and commitment at all levels has been achieved through implementation of the Energy PMO. A team collaborative effort is now in place, providing the framework to develop policy, as well as establish targets, objectives and long-range goals using data to better understand and drive decisions on energy project planning and development.”

Additionally, Sheffield, who is part of the 78th Civil Engineer Group, said the Energy PMO demands continual improvement of energy management by measuring results and reviewing how well the initiatives are working.

Sheffield said each member of the PMO team contributed to the work that culminated in the recognition for its prestigious honor.

“One key component of PMO management has been leveraging AFSC’s continuous process improvement model known as Art-of-the-Possible, which is an eight-gated machine to increase awareness and resolve constraints,” he said. “The machine, which was created by Stewart Crow, 78th CEG lead process analyst, and Lindsey Robertson, 402nd MXSG lead process analyst, began working at its full potential for the first time in June of 2020.

“The Robins Energy PMO was the first to pioneer the synergy between AoP and energy program management execution,” Sheffield continued.

“This innovative, structured management process helps to ensure plans are based on informed decisions and successful execution maximizing desired results,” he said. “The machine is a working document currently tracking 28 initiatives, utilizing an energy savings performance contract, a utility energy service contract, Energy Resiliency Conservation Investment Program and other funding vehicles.”

Sheffield said another key component to PMO management has been the implementation of a digital collaborative workspace, a virtual ‘one-stop-shop’ that houses all documents related to each individual initiative.

This effort, jointly led by Duke Thigpen, 78th Civil Engineer Group Chief Energy Management, and Brent Hill, a general engineer in the 402nd MXSG, has been critical in coordination among stakeholders and the supporting agencies.

“The workspace platform provides access across all organizational boundaries,” Sheffield said. “With many active participants across the base and other governmental organizations involved in energy project planning and design reviews, implementation of a platform allows concurrent program reviews in real-time, crucial for ultimate success. 

Implementing International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, 50001 Energy Management Systems within Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is another effort to integrate energy management into daily operations, Sheffield said.

“Damon West, 402nd MXSSG chief engineer for the Energy Assurance Office at Robins, is spearheading the ISO 50001 certification effort that will align the WR-ALC with industry standards to improve energy performance while delivering cost effective readiness by managing our energy consumption in a disciplined and responsible manner,” he said.  

Sheffield said he is proud of his award-winning team and excited about opportunities ahead.

The team will be presented with their award virtually during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in March 2022.

Editor’s Note: Members of the award-winning Robins Energy Program Management Office were George Thigpen, Scott Sheffield, Damon West, Lisa Earls, Stewart Crow, Lindsey Robertson, and Brent Hill.