Navy divides focus between energy efficiencies, alternative fuels

Tom Hicks, deputy assistant secretary for energy, Navy

wfedstaff | June 4, 2015 6:56 pm

Tom Hicks has been deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for energy since 2010, but he’s no stranger to the agency.

He’s in his second tour and a lot has changed between his departure in 1996 and his return in 2010 – including his portfolio.

“When I started with the Navy back in 1992, [I] was focused on our shore energy programs,” Hicks said on Agency of the Month. “One of the things I did…was to stand up an energy office that focused on efficiency, doing energy audits, across the Navy and the Marine Corps.”

The difference this time around is striking. “What’s different is how comprehensive the energy program is. Certainly the shore energy focus has continued and I think we’ve got an excellent track record. We’re taking that ethos and culture throughout our operational side,” Hicks said. “75 percent of our energy use is to power our fleet – the aircraft and ships that we have.”


Hicks noted others are recognizing Navy’s success in energy accomplishments. “Over the last 10 years, 30 percent of all the energy awards from the Federal Energy Management Program, government-wide, have come to the Navy.”


Tom Hicks was appointed deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for energy in March 2010. Hicks serves as the secretariat focal point on all matters pertaining to the Department of Navy’s energy conservation, energy efficiency, energy sources, and green initiatives.

Agency of the Month host Francis Rose (left) with Navy Asst. Sec. Tom Hicks

Hicks joined the Department of the Navy from the U.S. Green Building Council where he held several executive roles. As vice president of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, Hicks led the development and implementation of all LEED rating systems. During his tenure, he led the three-fold growth of LEED activity as well as the expansion of the LEED family of rating systems from four to ten unique rating systems. As vice president for international programs, Hicks led the development of USGBC’s international enterprise quadrupling global activity in LEED in two years. Most recently, he spearheaded a new strategic venture on behalf of USGBC – the Building Performance Initiative – to ensure that all green buildings meet or exceed their energy and environmental performance goals.

From 1996 to October 2004, Hicks was a senior program manager at the Environmental Protection Agency within the Energy Star for Buildings program. In this role, Hicks served as the principal architect of the Energy Star commercial building rating system, the nation’s largest and best-known energy efficiency initiative which has been utilized to assess the energy performance of over 70,000 buildings totaling over 10 billion square feet of floor space nationally.

From 1992 to February 1996, Hicks led the formation of the energy efficiency program for the U.S. Navy Public Works Center Washington. In this capacity, Hicks created and led the team which performed energy audits on over 15 million square feet of floor space and completed energy efficiency upgrades totaling more than $50 million in value at various Navy and Marine Corps installations.

Hicks received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

This story is part of Federal News Radio’s daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.