Conserving energy, cutting costs

The 509th Civil Engineer Squadron engineers recently replaced fluorescent lights (bottom left) with light-emitting diode (LED) lights (top right)  at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Oct. 21, 2015. LED lights eliminate light pollution, directing light towards the ground and producing accurate color rendition. The lights also have a ten year life expectancy which reduces cost and manpower. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joel Pfiester/Released)

The 509th Civil Engineer Squadron engineers recently replaced fluorescent lights (bottom left) with light-emitting diode (LED) lights (top right) at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Oct. 21, 2015. LED lights eliminate light pollution, directing light towards the ground and producing accurate color rendition. The lights also have a ten year life expectancy which reduces cost and manpower. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joel Pfiester/Released)

Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. -- October is National Energy Awareness Month which encourages the practice of energy saving methods such as turning off lights and unplugging appliances.

Energy, an essential resource to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., is necessary for Airmen to accomplish daily tasks such as operating aircraft, using medical equipment and performing other daily operations.

The Air Force has an energy plan that is passed on to individual installations to ensure energy-saving methods are applied.

"The plan comes down from Air Force Global Strike Command to us, and we determine the best way to implement it here at Whiteman," said Jack Allen, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) base energy manager. "We work to see how we can get the biggest bang for our buck."

The 509th CES engineer flight constantly works on various energy-conservation projects around the installation, implementing those energy-savings plans.      

"We've had a lot of projects where we've improved the infrastructure around the base," Allen said. "We updated heating and cooling systems with digital controls, replaced water pumps with high efficiency variable-drive water pumps, and installed insulation in buildings as well as low-flow plumbing fixtures. We've also replaced fluorescent light bulbs and 9,000 fixtures with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs."

These projects were designed to reduce costs and save energy. For example, the new LED lights use 79% less energy than the old T-12 fluorescent lights, which equates to an annual savings of more than $270,000.

Not only do the LED lights use less energy, they also provide better light quality and eliminate light pollution by directing the light toward the ground.

Likewise, the high efficiency variable-drive pumps use less energy to move water through base drinking-water systems.

With the dedication of the 509 CES members doing their part to further conserve energy, Team Whiteman can direct savings toward other base projects such as renovations and new facilities.