A call to action: Military and civilian collaboration in energy policy discussions

According to the EPA Clean Power Plan electric power gen -
eration emits 40% of carbon pollution in the United States
(Center or Climate and Energy Solutions, 2015). In 2015, energy
consumption rates and costs are environmentally, economically,
and materially unsustainable (Ahmad & Tahar, 2014). Energy efficiency
facilitates a cost-effective transition from the 20th century
fossil fuel economy to economic growth through renewable energy
(RE). Legislation is one way to improve energy sustainability. For
example, the Multifamily Housing Energy Efficiency Improvement
Act of 2014 reauthorizes the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development’s (HUD) Energy Innovation Fund to provide
funding for public and private partners to create unique solutions
in energy policy decisions to promote energy savings. Developing a
template that facilitates commitment to new and existing policies
that increase the adoption rate for sustainable development requires
engaging consumers as active stakeholders.


Sustainable development reduces construction waste by 43%, generating 50% cost savings.  In 2007 and 2014 Nellis Air Force Base, NV Energy, a venture capital company, and members of the solar industry collaborated to construct a 140-acre solar photovoltaic project on the Air Force Base.  The project saves the Air Force more than $1 million dollars in energy costs and eliminates 51 tons of carbon emissions annually.  The Department of Defense policies on building construction and renovation includes sustainable development standards for builders applying for residential construction contracts.  Residential construction executives lacking adequate knowledge regarding the benefits of sustainable development practices are at a competitive disadvantage.  Drawing from the diffusion of innovation theory, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore knowledge acquisition within the bounds of sustainable residential construction. Residential homeowners are the major consumers of energy.  The purposive sample size of 11 executive decision makers were members of the National Home Builders Association (NHBA) with experience of a minimum of 5 years in residential construction.  The research question addressed how to improve knowledge acquisition relating to the cost benefits of building green homes and increase the adoption rate of sustainable development among residential builders.  Initially, 5 categories and reduced to 3 interlocking themes of environment, competitive advantage, and marketing.  Recommendations include developing comprehensive public policies, horizontal and vertical communications networks, and green banks to capitalize sustainable development programs to improve the diffusion of green innovation as a competitive advantage strategy.  Business leaders could benefit from this data by integrating sustainable development practices into their business processes.  Study results might assist military leaders tasked with implementing the Department of Defense Sustainable Buildings policy.  Sustainable development reduces operational costs, increases competitive advantage for builders, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  Traditional approaches do not facilitate complementary policies; therefore, we need to use refractive thinking as a process to examine existing policies and develop a comprehensive energy strategy that promote economic development, technological gains in all business sectors within the energy industry, and reduces energy costs for military operations.  A comprehensive energy strategy increases energy independence through conservation.  Comprehensive energy policies help reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy costs for consumers, and maximize military operational readiness.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Book Chapter
Spearman, P. & Simon, M.
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
The refractive thinker®: Vol X: Effective business strategies for the defense industry section. n C. A Lentz (Ed.),
(pp. 127- 138)
The Refractive Thinker® Press
Date Published: 
Monday, February 8, 2016
Place Published: 
Albuquerque, NM
Publication Language: 
ISBN Number: 
C. A Lentz (Ed.)



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