WASHINGTON (NNS) - Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced June 17 that Navy ships realized 386,000 barrels of fuel avoidance during the first half of fiscal year 2010 as part of the Incentivized Energy Conservation (i-ENCON) initiative.

The i-ENCON program encourages ships to operate in the most efficient manner while conducting their mission and support the Secretary of the Navy's efforts to reduce total energy consumption on naval ships.

"These efforts increase Fleet readiness by enabling Sailors at sea to train or deploy longer while spending the same amount of money on fuel," said Hasan Pehlivan, i-ENCON program manager, "Type commanders (TYCOM) could deploy ships for an additional 22,000 underway steaming hours."

While i-ENCON engineers use barrels-per-hour metrics to evaluate a ship's fuel efficiency, budget analysts uses operations tempo metrics.

"The programmatic/budgetary allocation system uses barrels per operations tempo day (OPTEMPO Day), defined as three or more hours of underway operation per day. This distinction is important, so i-ENCON hourly rates will not be compared to ships' OPTEMPO Days. i-ENCON results are not suitable for budgetary decisions," said Pehlivan.

As a "Meet-the-Fleet" initiative, i-ENCON program sponsors conduct routine meetings with ship operators to review specific fuel-saving procedures and recommend quarterly awards for ships with the most fuel-efficient operations. The performance in the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2010 are attributed to strong commitments and energy awareness by the fleet type commanders, strike group commanders, base commanders, and ship's force.

i-ENCON also rewards leading fuel conservers among underway surface ships with special recognitions and cash incentives. According to Pehlivan, award money is routed to each commanding officer's discretionary funds that are often used to buy items like damage control gear or to augment the ship's welfare and recreation programs.

There are seven different incentives under the iENCON program: Fleet TYCOM cash awards; SECNAV annual energy awards given to eight ships (four large-hull category; and four small-hull category); Department of Energy awards presented to two ships (one large-hull category; and one small-hull category); top five performing ships (posted quarterly on the iENCON Web site); top 25 performing ships (posted quarterly on the iENCON Web site); recognition of iENCON achievements in annual fitness reports; and the opportunity to be good stewards of Navy resources.