October is Energy Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Daylon Edmisten
  • 509th Civil Engineer Squadron
Whiteman is engaged in an energy battle. With October being Energy Conservation Month, all members of Whiteman need to consider how they are assisting in the war to conserve energy.

The base is committed to reducing energy consumption and reducing energy intensity by three percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2015 or a total of 30 percent by the end of FY 2015, relative to the baseline of FY 2003.

In FY 2009 the base will spend approximately $7 million on purchased utilities (electric, natural gas, propane and water). This equates to $19,200 per day. In FY 2003, the base spent $6.3 million or 0.1880 MBTU/SF on purchased utilities. It is projected that in FY 2009, the base will use 0.1570 MBTU/SF. The cost is up due to utility rate increases and additional facilities being built on base. However, the usage is down due to ongoing energy conservation efforts by the base.

The Base Energy Manager, the 509th Civil Engineering Squardron personnel and other organizations on base are staying actively engaged in this energy conservation battle. Energy goals, objectives and metrics have been established and procedures are in place to obtain and meet them. During the past year, 22 projects have been identified and funded. These combined projects are worth more than $19,000,000, and provide infrastructure improvements and affects the quality of life for everyone at Whiteman.

Among the projects was the purchase and installation of 4,450 compact fluorescent lights within base facilities. An additional 2,200 CFLs for distribution in family housing are on order, and when they arrive, will be distributed to on base housing occupants. Energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest ways to lower energy usage.

Other projects under construction or recently awarded include: occupancy sensors and ventilation controls in approximately 100 facilities; ground source heat pumps in nine facilities; replacement of heating/cooling equipment in several facilities; remote controls for heating/cooling equipment, motors, lighting and misc equipment; replacement of steam line insulation; door seals on the aircraft docks; and installation of utility meters to monitor usage. With the completion of these projects and others under consideration, Whiteman will continue to reduce energy usage.

Even with the active involvement of the energy manager, it is still up to everyone on base to make this a successful battle. Without everyone doing their part, the battle is lost. Be aware of surroundings and make smart energy decisions. Remember to turn that light off if not in use or not needed. Turn off and unplug equipment when not in use. The new electronic equipment consumes power even when it is turned off. Have you ever noticed how many lights are flashing when you turn the equipment off? Does that thermostat really need to be set where it is, or could it be raised/lowered?

There have been several tips in print and on television/radio and many constructive conservation ideas. Try to implement some of them and remind others that they need to join the battle to ease our energy dependence. This battle is not only happening here, but also off base. Conserve energy and help the Air Force meet energy conservation goals.