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Team Charleston continues to make energy conservation strides

By Senior Airman Sam Hymas | 437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs | March 29, 2007

CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. — Charleston AFB continues its pledge to conserve energy and natural resources.
New initiatives which will be implemented by this year will further increase the energy-saving impact Charleston AFB will have. 

"An energy savings performance contract is presently in the construction phase and is scheduled to be complete this December," said Darrell Guidry, 437th Civil Engineer Squadron energy management office chief. 

Under the contract, the base will get state-of-the-art, energy-efficient equipment such as renewable energy geothermal heat pump systems, chillers and heating and ventilation systems, as well an energy management control system. Lighting in several facilities is also being replaced with higher efficiency lighting equipment. Most facilities now employ water flow reducing devices to conserve water, said Mr. Guidry. 

Saving energy and using renewable sources of energy is quickly becoming an Air Force tradition. In 2005, the Air Force purchased more than a million megawatts of energy derived from wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy sources. This million-plus megawatt represents a threefold increase over the 2004 amount, and is enough energy to power the needs of 70,000 average-size homes for an entire year. 

"We're committed to leading by example when it comes to energy conservation," said Dr. Ronald Sega, Undersecretary of the Air Force. "With the high price of fuel, an important resource for our mission, it's important to look at how we use energy in all areas. We need to constantly look at how we're powering our facilities and make sure we're doing it in the most efficient manner possible." 

There's still plenty of room to improve. Charleston AFB's annual electricity usage in 2006 was 89.6 million kilo-watt hours which cost $4.7 million. The annual natural gas usage was 134 million cubic feet which cost $1.7 million. 

"Airmen should also look for new ways to save energy," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley in a recent CMSAF Perspective letter. "Many Air Force energy efficiency successes are the result of Airmen streamlining major fuel consumption programs. Nevertheless, while we see big dividends in our overall energy conservation efforts, there's always room for improvement. We can't forget to analyze our everyday actions for opportunities to conserve energy." 

Some things Airmen can do to conserve energy are: 

· Turn off incandescent lights when leaving areas for any period of time.
· Turn off fluorescent lighting when leaving areas for longer than 15 minutes.
· Turn off lights in all nonessential and unoccupied spaces.
· Turn off PC monitors, televisions, etc. when not in use.
· When schedules permit, do not use, or limit use of, big electricity consuming shop equipment and home appliances (i.e., washers, dryers,vacuum cleaners) between nooon and 4:00 p.m. This is usually the hottest part of the day when CAFB peak electric power requirements occur.
· Set air conditioning thermostats at 76 - 78 degrees F in warmer periods and 68 - 72 degrees F in colder periods.
· Change home air conditioning filters as prescribed (usually every 90 days).
· Ensure all windows and doors are shut when operating air conditioning.
· Close blinds, pull shades and limit indoor-outdoor traffic as much as possible during periods of the day when operating air conditioning.
· Water lawns during early morning and/or evening hours, not during the hottest part of the day.
· Limit use of water when washing vehicles and watering lawns.
· Limit machine washing of clothes and dishes to full-load washing cycles.
· Report water leaks immediately when discovered. 

For more information about conserving energy, contact 437 CES energy management office at 963-5029 or 963-5019.