Energy Awareness Month – Power the Force, Fuel the Fight

  • Published
  • By Amy Frost
  • 95th ABW Civil Engineering Directorate
This October, Team Edwards joins the Air Force and our nation in observing Energy Awareness Month.

Here at Edwards, a variety of tools are in use to reduce demand, increase supply, and change the culture of energy consumption. Edwards is actively employing energy audits, utility meters, and energy re-commissioning, to aggressively pursue reduction targets.

Reduce demand
Newly installed meters on base allow for better resource management and new revenue streams through more accurate billing of non-Department of Defense tenants. Re-commissioning of buildings - basically tune-up programs - have provided significant energy savings over utility bills from 2010.

Increase supply
The Air Force leads the Department of Defense as the number one producer and user of renewable energy. More than six percent of our electric supply comes from on-base renewable energy projects including wind, solar, geothermal, and landfill gas.
Here at Edwards, we are evaluating ways to expand our portfolio to include waste-to-energy and biomass projects along with solar and thermal energy as we work toward producing 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. Our off-base renewable energy is supplied by large-scale hydroelectric turbines, wind power and solar arrays. Soon Edwards will be generating its own photovoltaic solar and hydroelectric power.

Change the culture
We must treat the energy we use at Edwards AFB like we pay for it, because we do. Take a moment to turn off lights and appliances when not in use; make saving energy and water a habit every day; and encourage your family, friends, and co-workers to do their part as well.

Here are six easy steps that can yield positive results for Edwards and the Air Force.
  • Appliance reduction - Look around your workspace. Do you have an extra refrigerator or coffee maker in your work area? How many personal appliances can be removed or consolidated in common areas like break room? Reducing energy usage by reducing the number of appliances and machines can yield significant energy savings.
  • Computer log-off - Even though you are prohibited from turning off computers, you should log off at the end of the day. This ensures that computers will enter energy-saving sleep mode. Before you remove your Common Access Card and go home for the day, remember to log off. This action alone done by everyone can save thousands of dollars a year.
  • Temperature Control - Climate control set points have a major impact on energy use. Here at Edwards, temperature settings of 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer are in effect. Heating and cooling systems are not perfect, so workspaces may not be at optimum comfort temperatures. Rather than increasing energy demand with space heaters or fans, dress appropriately for the temperature in your facility.
  • Inform your facility manager - Report incorrect temperature set points, leaky faucets, blocked air vents, cracked windows and other problems to your facility manager or the Civil Engineer Customer Service Office at 277-3331.
  • Outdoor conservation - If you notice a broken sprinkler head or one watering the roadway, or area lights left on in a parking lot during the day, report it to the Civil Engineer Customer Service Office.
  • No waste - Don't turn a blind eye to problems. If you see something that doesn't need to be on, turn it off. If you see a problem, report it.
"The Air Force is making excellent progress toward satisfying federal energy mandates," said Rick Stacey, Chief of the Air Force Facility Energy Center, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Some prominent goals are: reduce energy intensity 30 percent by 2015, and 31.5 percent by 2020 over the 2003 baseline; reduce water intensity 26 percent by 2020 over the 2007 baseline; and increase renewable energy use to 25 percent of all electricity by 2025 over the 2003 baseline.

Since 2003, the Air Force has reduced energy use nearly 15 percent, water consumption 11 percent, and more than six percent of all electricity is obtained from renewable sources. The Air Force energy strategy for meeting these goals is to reduce demand, increase supply, and change the culture!

Take time to review your daily routine to conserve energy and water. Encourage others to take action as well. Every dollar saved on energy is a dollar that can be spent on our Airmen, their readiness, and our mission!