Sunday, October 05, 2008

October is USAF Energy Awareness Month

This year's Energy Awareness theme emphasizes securing America's energy future by working together for clean energy solutions and encouraging everyone to work together to make wise energy choices. Taking clean energy action is not only a long-term goal, it results in a number of immediate benefits: it enhances economic vitality; increases national security; and improves environmental quality.

USAF has already been making pretty much information building towards that

For examples, a news piece from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska (Use tried, true methods to achieve fuel savings by Debbie Aragon, 55th Wing Public Affairs, September 29, 2008) lists the following measures:

· Only buy gas with the appropriate octane level since the higher the octane, the higher the price. This information should be listed in the vehicle's owner's manual.
· Stay within posted speed limits since the faster a person drives, the more fuel he or she uses. For example, driving at 65 mph instead of 55 mph increases fuel consumption by 20 percent. Driving at 75 mph instead of 65 mph increases fuel consumption by another 25 percent.
· Use overdrive gears during highway driving since a vehicle's engine speed decreases when using overdrive reducing both fuel consumption and engine wear.
· Use cruise control on highway trips since, in most cases, maintaining a constant speed reduces fuel consumption.
· Avoid unnecessary idling by turning off the engine if a lengthy wait is anticipated.

· Combine errands since several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
· Remove excess weight from the trunk since an extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by one to two percent.
· Keep your car's engine tuned, oil changed and tires properly inflated and aligned. By following the recommended maintenance schedule in the owner's manual, drivers can save fuel and cars typically run better, longer.
Another piece (Cannon goes green for Energy Awareness Month, by Raymond Gobberg, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, on September 30, 2008) reports that Cannon Air Force Base has implemented several energy saving initiatives to curb consumption by three percent and save approximately $129,000 annually.

To further guide energy conservation at Cannon, Air Force Special Operation Command has developed a 39-item checklist of energy-saving ideas.
"Included on the list is everything from turning off lights, computer monitors and office equipment to efficiently maintaining vehicles," said Steven Myers, resource efficiency manager for the 27th SOCES.
"The simple act of turning off computer monitors at the end of the day can save $27 yearly per monitor."
To keep energy consumption low, the Air Force is committed to constructing all new buildings with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver-certification. According to the U.S. Green Building Council's website, the LEED rating system is a third-party certification program and the nationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The program encourages and accelerates adoption of sustainable green building and development practices globally.
Constructing new buildings within the LEED guidelines is just one way the Air Force and Cannon plan to conserve energy.
And another one (Tips to save energy at work, home, from 305th Civil Engineer Squadron on September 30, 2008) from McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. says that .one of McGuire's "enduring themes" is preserving resources, which is equally important to accept as a personal theme. Everything we do involves energy -- work, transportation, family activities, health, well-being and entertainment. In that respect, each and every person has the ability and responsibility to preserve resources -- to conserve energy.
The increased cost of energy has made a more significant impact to everyone's finances, including the base. One person's energy-consumption savings is a small fraction of the total picture, although as more and more people become aware of the things they can do to help conserve energy -- the fraction becomes larger and savings increase.
Adopt some of the below suggested energy-saving ideas, and you can make a difference at work and at home:
-- Clean and replace air filters regularly.
- - Close off unoccupied rooms.
- - Lower thermostat at night.
- - Use window blinds; open when sunny to heat room.
- - Utilize natural lighting when possible.
- - Use compact fluorescent bulbs.
- - Utilize task lighting in place of overall room lighting when possible.
- - Examine potential for lighting occupancy sensors.
- - Reduce the number of lamps in corridors without significant reduction in lighting levels. - Select energy-efficient office equipment.
- - Put air conditioner adapters on a power strip that can be switched off; adapters draw continuous energy.
- - Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or chargers are not in use.
- - Attach door sweeps to the bottom of doors leading outside.


And also in overseas bases. A news release from Kadena Air Base in Japan (Conservation is the word during Energy Awareness Month, Christopher Marasky, 18th Wing Public Affairs, on October 2, 2008) starts with a question:
Did you know that Kadena Air Base's electricity bill was $45 million last year? Adding in gas and water, the base's total utility bill came to a whopping $66 million. That's not chump change.
October is Energy Awareness Month and 18th Wing officials continue to focus on ways to reduce Kadena's energy footprint. The theme for this year's campaign is "Working to secure a clean energy future" and is meant to encourage citizens to work together to make wise energy choices.
"Energy conservation is no longer just an environmental catch phrase," said Brig. Gen. Brett Williams, 18th Wing commander. "Rising energy costs affect our bottom line and ultimately our ability to execute the mission. Energy conservation has got to become a priority across our wing, both on the job and in our homes."

According to Gerardo Salazar, the 18th Wing energy manager, being stationed overseas presents a unique challenge to servicemembers because residents do not pay their own bills and do not know how much energy they are using.

One way people can help is to use this month to recommit to the maintenance of high-energy machines, such as refrigerators and dryers. Cleaning the coils and dust vents on these items helps the machines run more efficiently. Residents can also take basic steps to save energy -- turning off lights and appliances when not in use and keeping thermostats at 76 degrees during the hot months.

All these are nice efforts.

As Colonel Bill Albro, Director of Installations and Mission Support, USAF National Guard, made it pretty clear in his presentation in February 2008:

“Every $ we waste on energy that we don’t need eventually is a face we can’t hire or a face we must lose”

We need EXACTLY the scope – no more, no less: we can’t afford more and our Airmen don’t deserve less


At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw that the AF Secretary and the Chief of Staff issued a joint memo on 15 Sep .... see story at:

Has anybody seen a copy of it? I would like to get a copy....


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