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Eglin AFB wins 2015 federal energy award

  • Published
  • By Mike Spaits
  • Eglin Air Force Base Public Affairs
The U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program has chosen the 96th Civil Engineer Group as the recipient of a 2015 energy and water conservation award.

The award recognizes Eglin Air Force Base's innovative approach for combining advanced technologies and common sense to saving critical energy resources and reducing utility costs for the base.

The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards recognize individuals, groups and agencies for their outstanding contributions in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of advanced and renewable energy technologies at federal facilities.

In fiscal year 2014, the 96th CEG combined its energy management control system (EMCS) with real-time pricing to maximize energy savings through reduced energy consumption and avoided utility costs. By integrating direct digital controls, facility meters and comprehensive energy analyses, the project saved 181 billion British thermal units of electricity and natural gas across 131 buildings valued at $3.4 million.

The innovative combination of technical resources and effective energy strategies resulted in a simple payback of two years, and is projected to yield significant savings for Eglin well into the future.

"Our energy resources are not unlimited," said Col. Craig Johnson, the 96th CEG commander. "The more we use our energy here increases our dependency on someone or someplace else. The more we can reduce that dependency is what will help us become stronger as a nation."

From an operational standpoint the EMCS collects energy data in real time from more than 1,600 sensors, which in turn enables trend analysis and effective use of real-time pricing to avoid more expensive electric rates during hours of peak consumption. Simply put, Eglin combined a wide range of critical resource control capabilities into a single central entity where dynamic cost-savings strategies can be implemented in a timely and efficient manner, according to the award package.

For fiscal 2016, the Eglin energy management team is working to bring on an additional 25 facilities to the EMCS with the goal of having all qualified facilities brought into the system. This program means less Eglin money spent on otherwise avoidable utility costs and therefore more resources available to mission essential items.

The Eglin system has been noted one of the best currently across the Air Force and sets a standard for achieving mandated energy reduction goals in a real-world environment.

Eglin received the award at the annual FEMP awards ceremony Oct. 15 in Washington, D.C.