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Investing in energy conservation expected to save millions

  • Published
  • By Jennifer Elmore
  • Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency
More than a dozen Energy Conservation Investment Program projects will soon break ground Air Force-wide and are expected to save the Air Force more than $4 million a year. 

The Fiscal 2009 Military Construction appropriation to the Office of the Secretary of Defense provided $22.6 million for ECIP projects while the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 provided $17.2 million in ECIP projects. The total investment is 47 percent more than last year.

"The Air Force Energy Program has never seen this level of funding," said Pat Mumme, Air Force Facility Energy Center director, "which clearly demonstrates a new commitment to energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gases."

According to engineers at the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency at Tyndall AFB, is responsible for centrally managing and executing the design and construction for all ECIP projects, including 13 wind power generation, solar power, ground source heat pumps, lighting retrofits and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system replacement projects executed this summer. The projects awarded in 2009 are expected to conserve or produce almost 115 million British Thermal Units. That's the equivalent of powering approximately 4,000 homes.

The program is just one way Air Force funds energy conservation projects. The Air Force set aside $250 million in operations and maintenance funding for each of the next six years to help meet congressionally-mandated energy conservation, water conservation and renewable energy goals, engineers at the Air Force Facility Energy Center said.

The Air Force has met every energy conservation goal since 1975. Most recently, the Air Force reduced its facility energy intensity by more than 30 percent in a 20-year period ending in 2005. The current goal is to reduce facility energy use an additional 30 percent from 2005 to 2015. While the Air Force is the largest consumer of energy among all federal agencies due to its high consumption of aviation fuel, the Air Force is an Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partner. It is the number one purchaser of green power in the federal government and is currently ranked seventh overall in the nation.

Since 1999, the Air Force obligation rate (five-year running average) steadily declined to below 50 percent. In 2008, AFFEC and Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency engineers and contract specialists implemented central contract execution for the Fiscal 2009 ECIP program. They awarded all projects assigned to them before the end of June, ensuring the Air Force is postured for a brighter future in ECIP funding because of these efforts.