News>Steering group leads Reserve Command to energy cost-cutting
Shannie Williams (center), the Air Force Reserve Command environmental management systems, conservation and HazMat manager, gives Wendy Fenimore, from the AFRC Helpdesk, a recycle bag and T-Shirt she purchased April 19, 2011, at the AFRC Earth Day display at the AFRC headquarters building at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)
An Earth Day display at the Air Force Reserve Command headquarters building April 19, 2011, highlights Earth Day 2011 events for Robins Air Force Base, Ga., and local community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)
4/20/2011 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) -- As energy prices continue to increase, Air Force Reserve Command officials maintain their resolve to lead cost-cutting efforts in energy consumption through existing and new initiatives.
The Energy Management Steering Group serves as the focal point providing strategic direction for the command's energy program, said Scott Hastings, the AFRC special projects engineer.
Facilities, with their heating and cooling costs, tend to be the main focus when it comes to energy usage and conservation, Mr. Hastings said. However, new vehicles, aviation operations and innovative technology are the areas where the biggest potential for savings can be found.
According to fiscal year 2010 energy utilization records, vehicles and ground equipment accounted for 95.7 percent of AFRC's total energy costs.
The command continues to make reductions in its energy consumption by replacing old and inefficient infrastructure. Replacing older vehicles with new fuel-efficient gasoline, diesel, E-85, hybrid electric, full electric and non-fuel vehicles, allows the command to remain below the gasoline gallon equivalent baseline, Mr. Hastings said.
Studies show turning down a home central heating thermostat one degree can cut fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent, said Ed Saleem, the resource efficiency manager.
People need to think about what they do at home to save energy and try to apply similar strategies at work, he added. For example home refrigerators account for about 13.5 percent of a home electrical bill. Everyone to consider how many refrigerators are in the workplace, and the potential savings the command could realize by reducing the number as well as changing to Energy Star refrigerators.
Mr. Hastings acknowledged that AFRC has been involved in curbing energy usage for almost 40 years. The low-hanging fruit items are already implemented, so the challenge is to broaden the potential actions without negatively impacting the mission.
"In order to meet the overall goal of the Air Force Energy Program of reducing demand, increasing supply and changing the culture, the AFRC Infrastructure Energy Plan contains four pillars," Mr. Hastings said. "These pillars are to improve current infrastructure, improve future infrastructure, expand renewables and manage costs."
To increase energy efficiency in existing facilities, the command has used renovation projects such as new windows, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and cool roofs. Future infrastructure efforts are focused on attaining 30 percent more efficient performance in energy, water, emissions and stewardship of resources.
The use of renewable energy is designed to promote alternative energy of solar, wind, biomass and geothermal power where practical, Mr. Hastings said. Efforts to manage costs include examining utility bills for correctness and eliminating late fees as well as reviewing contracts and energy policies.
"Energy conservation is an ongoing project," Mr. Hastings said. "We will continue to look for ways to save energy and operate our facilities in the most efficient ways possible."
(Courtesy of Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs)
4/21/2011 2:16:54 PM ET Oh boy another Steering Group. What a waste of time. Let's just put together a Tiger Team and show a bunch of PowerPoints. Then we can pay thousands of dollars and have the goofs from the LEAN section come in with their Legos and waste a few more days talking this stuff through. Geez turn off the lights when you leave. Is it really that hard?