Panama City Beach - When it comes to navy bases, Naval Support Activity Panama City ranks in the top 15% for energy efficiency.
The Department of the Navy grades bases each October as part of National Energy Awareness Month.
This is the third straight year NSA Panama City has received a gold medal award for energy conservation.
"We're looking at a transitional time for the Navy and the entire nation in which we're looking to reduce energy consuming devices to the minimum that it's needed," said Wells Parker, NSA’s Utilities Energy Manager.
Naval Support Activity Panama City has reduced its energy foot print by 15 percent in just the past 5 years.
To do this, the naval base has changed over 20,000 lights, added more solar technology, and upgraded to more efficient air conditioner models.
"It's a huge success, a lot of people have been working very hard in doing everything from modifying people's behaviors like reminding them to turn off a light, to turn off a computer, to some o f the bigger projects we've been working on," says Commander Pfefferkorn.
Some of those projects include adding solar panels to heat some of the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center's pools.
Street lights, stop signs, and even vehicles on base are solar powered.
According to Navy officials, if the U.S. maintains its current coal consumption rate, the supply will be gone in 220 years. If the consumption rate grows, the country’s coal supply could dwindle in under 50 years.
The Department of the Navy believes the stakes are high.
So do local base officials, who are hoping to do better than the gold award next year.
"I want the platinum award. I'm not satisfied with just the gold, we're going for platinum," said Commander Pfefferkorn.