NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Navy Floats Fuel Saving Idea

December 22, 1997

The commander of the Navy's Atlantic Fleet Surface Force is proposing a novel plan for conserving fuel: reward the crew by returning 40 percent of the savings to the ship to buy amenities. Vice Admiral Henry C. Giffin III would have the funds used for such things as better mattresses, new televisions and upgraded computers to let sailors e-mail home.

  • In a 1996 study, officials concluded that one particular ship consumed an average of 64,477 barrels of fuel annually.
  • But by adjusting its speed and operating routines, it could cut consumption by about 15 percent -- saving $316,840.
  • Allowing the ship to keep 40 percent of that would mean a $126,736 reward.
  • Preliminary plans call for each of the fleet's 130 ships' fuel consumption to be measured over a five-year period -- after which fuel savings would be calculated based on this benchmark.

Giffin says the project is still in its formative stages and will be subject to some ground rules that are still being devised.

Source: Associated Press, "Floating Frugality Fostered," Washington Times, December 22, 1997.


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