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Air Force lights up 'Operation Change Out'

  • Published
All 64 major Air Force bases in the United States are participating in the Energy Star Operation Change Out: The Military Challenge campaign to change out incandescent bulbs with new energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs. The campaign is a joint effort between the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.
Officials at the Air Force Facility Energy Center, part of the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency here, and the major commands coordinated the effort with base energy managers to encourage facility lighting audits and to schedule bulb change outs. Many people turned it into a grass-roots effort. 

At Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., for example, Energy Manager Jeff Morgan spent several days delivering two CFLs and energy awareness brochures to the doorsteps of 1,000 military families. The $5,000 investment at Charleston alone will save the Air Force an estimated $43,254 over the lifetime of the bulbs.

In the past year, beginning with Earth Day 2008, Air Force participants have changed out more than 228,000 bulbs. This will save millions of pounds of greenhouse gases and enough energy to power 3,841 homes for a year. The Air Force will save $7.5 million over the lifetime of the bulbs.

Energy Star-qualified CFLs have many benefits: 
-- CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. 
-- Save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime. 
-- Produce about 75 percent less heat, so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling. 
-- Are available in different sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture, indoors or outdoors.

Energy Star is a joint program of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, helping to save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex. 

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