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Lackland conservation efforts equal big rebate

  • Published
  • By Mike Joseph
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs
Lackland Air Force Base officials received the largest rebate ever awarded by CPS Energy March 17 here after creating a win-win situation for the base and the city-owned utility company. 

Brigadier Gen. Leonard A. "Len" Patrick, the 37th Training Wing commander, received a rebate check for $946,596.38 from CPS Energy after the base's reduction in energy consumption enabled CPS Energy to save approximately $1.8 million needed to produce the power. 

Actual dollars will not change hands in the transaction as the rebate amount will be a credit on next month's energy bill for the base. 

"We are pleased Lackland has taken this leadership role in technology that will provide CPS Energy and the community with a large reduction in energy use," said Milton Lee, the CPS Energy chief executive officer. "Commercial lighting improvements have great potential to help reach our goal of reducing 771 (megawatts) while providing a better work environment." 

Lackland AFB "has gone above and beyond the call of duty relative to energy efficiency," Mr. Lee said. 

General Patrick said energy conservation is of utmost importance to the base.

"Conserving energy is critical to our nation's security," he said. "We're trying to create a culture of conservation at Lackland. We're proud to do our part for our future by creating awareness in conserving our vital resources."

The lighting retrofit and window coatings in this energy-conservation project, two of eight conservation projects that are expected to be completed by mid-summer, will reduce Lackland AFB's consumption demand more than 2 megawatts. That power equates to serving approximately 500 average homes in the San Antonio area.

Energy efficient lighting upgrades in more than 140 base facilities accounted for the power reduction.

The project consisted of replacing or retrofitting fixtures with high-efficiency lamps and ballasts, which conserve energy and generate less heat that reduces cooling loads. Energy improvements on the base included:
-- Incandescent bulbs were replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs,
-- T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts were replaced with T8 lamps and high efficiency electronic ballasts,
-- 400 watt high-intensity lamps and fixtures were replaced with industrial T8/T5 lamps and fixtures or more efficient high-intensity-discharge lamps and fixtures,
-- Tungsten halogen bulbs were replaced with fluorescent bulbs or 1-lamp wrap fixtures with T8 lamps and new electronic ballasts, and
-- Incandescent exit signs were replaced with LED exit signs. A total of 57,472 lights were replaced.

Solar film was applied to the interior of 38,962 windows in 32 buildings in the second energy-conservation project, which also reduces heating and cooling costs.

The projects are tied to a 2007 executive order requiring all federal installations to reduce their energy consumption 3 percent a year, beginning in 2006, for 10 years.

"That's actually what's driving all this," said Andy Hinojosa, the base energy manager.

The lighting and solar film projects will reduce Lackland AFB's energy consumption for fiscal 2009 by approximately 3.5 percent, the base energy manager said. It also keeps the base heading down the road of meeting the 30 percent reduction goal by 2016.

"The benefit is once (the base) implements the (conservation projects), we are closer to meeting our reduction goal," Mr. Hinojosa said. "(The conservation projects) will put us in compliance with the federal mandate and save money."

When the eight projects are completed, in addition to saving a total of 9 percent in energy for the current fiscal year, annual cost savings will be about $1 million, he said.

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