Advancing National Service

The Surprising Way the Military Is Saving Tax Dollars

January 23, 2014
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The Surprising Way the Military Is Saving Tax Dollars
U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Chad A. Dulac
Twenty five percent of our armed forces' energy will be renewable by 2025.

The U.S. military is going green to save some green. According to a report from Pew Charitable Trusts, the Defense Department is looking for ways to save money on its energy bill, which costs taxpayers a hefty $4 billion annually. But our armed forces aren’t just looking to cut costs, they’re looking for greener solutions. As GreenBiz reports, “the agency expects to source at least 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources.”

According to Pew, energy-saving and efficiency projects at the Pentagon more than doubled from 630 to 1,339 between fiscal years 2010 and 2012. Renewable-energy projects at military installations run by the Defense Department also rose from 454 to 700. Not only is going green better for the planet and for the budget, it also means decreased reliance on foreign oil and lower transportation costs.

The military has been using the private sector and third-party financing to help deploy its projects. “These improvements are possible even as the Pentagon’s budget is shrinking because the armed services are harnessing private-sector expertise and resources,” Phyllis Cuttino, who directs Pew’s project on national security, energy and climate, said in a statement. “This is a win-win-win proposition: The military gets better energy infrastructure, taxpayer dollars are saved, and the clean energy industry is finding new market opportunities.”

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