Marine Corps Air Station Miramar: Energy Audits

Jul 26, 2011

“Abraxas performed ASHRAE Level II Energy and Water Audits on 8 buildings at MCAS Miramar, totaling over 700,000 sq.feet. Their recommendations have the potential to lead to a 26% energy reduction and 24% cost savings with an average payback of less than 6 years. I highly recommend their services. I would absolutely work with them again.

-Chris Garvin, P.E.,CEM, LEED AP Ret. Public Works Officer,  Marine Corps Airs Station Miramar

Project Overview

Abraxas Energy Consulting conducted ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audits and similarly scoped Water Audits for the Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar from October 2010 through January 2011. Eight buildings were selected for auditing, including a grocery mart, three office buildings and 4 aircraft hangars, totaling 700,101 square feet. The goal of the audit was to assist MCAS Miramar in achieving the EISA 2007 required 30% energy reductions by providing conservation measures with detailed descriptions, scopes and calculations that could then be executed using O&M, ECIP or other sources of funding.

The Solution

The audit was conducted in several phases, 1) a Preliminary Energy Use Analysis, 2) Site Visit and 3) Analysis and Reporting. Phase 1 consisted of a utility summary and analysis on the most recent 12 months of utility bills. This generated a baseline for the energy/water usage and utility costs, which was used in calculating potential energy savings. The calculated Heating and Cooling Degree Days provided insight to potential Energy/Water Conservation Measures. Annual utility cost was $131,676 for electricity and $87,409 for natural gas.

During the on-site inspection all the relevant information on the existing building conditions was collected. This on-site assessment included reviewing building and equipment data, interviewing site personnel, observing energy related equipment operation, and conducting some limited site measurements. Based on the inspection and calculations 52 Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) were recommended, as well as a list of Administrative and Operational Measures that could be implemented at very low cost.


Examples of Conservation Measures found included lighting retrofits, lighting controls, occupancy sensors, Energy Management System upgrades, programmable thermostat installation, variable pump frequency drives, Variable Air Volume upgrades, refrigeration fan controls, low flow fixture installations and vending machine energy reduction strategies.

Information was provided to MCAS Miramar in a format that allowed simple input to their Energy Master Plan. In addition to cost savings, reductions in the Energy Use Index (MBtu/sf/yr) were graphed and various strategies for project consolidating were provided.

Energy Use Reductions on 8 Buildings - MCAS Miramar
Energy Use Reductions on 8 Buildings – Marine Corps Air Station Miramar


When implemented, the ECM’s will save over $245,000 per year with a simple payback of 5.5 years; a 24% cost savings. The corresponding energy savings of 7,713 MMBtu/yr will result in a 26% reduction in energy intensity, greatly assisting the installation in meeting its base wide goal of a 30% reduction. All values were evaluated using bin simulations and spreadsheet calculations based upon standard energy savings estimating methods and known and assumed operating conditions. Various incentives were identified through utility companies and various federal programs.