McGuire commander is 'hands-on' saving energy

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Michael Hogg
  • 305th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
In January, the Department of Energy chose McGuire as one of the lead bases in the Air Force to be given an Energy Efficiency Expert Evaluation Audit; commonly referred to as the "E4" Audit.

On the final day of the E4 visit, Michael Aimone, the Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support, presented a check in the amount of $20,000 to Col. Rick Martin, 305th Air Mobility Wing commander, to initiate some of the energy improvements identified in the energy audit.

On March 22, Colonel Martin donned a pair of gloves and safety goggles as he put to use the first of the $20,000 received from Mr. Aimone. The wing commander installed weather stripping over a gap at the front door of building 1837. The one-inch gap at the bottom of the door allowed heat to escape outdoors. 

Installing weather stripping reduces heat loss, therefore reducing the amount of energy required to heat a building. The E4 team provided an annual estimated cost savings of $177,852 by applying weather stripping in gaps around doors and windows throughout the base.

In addition to the weather stripping, Colonel Martin focused on another energy savings opportunity identified by the audit, insulating high-temperature hot water pipes. 

High-temperature hot water is used to transport heat from the central heat plant to 123 facilities base-wide. Insulating the pipes helps reduce the amount of heat lost to cold ambient air and thereby increase heating efficiency. The audit team estimated that insulating pipes throughout the base will save $136,130 per year.

While surveying Building 1837 for energy savings, the E-4 team uncovered another savings opportunity. In one of the bays, an auxiliary power unit, used to power up an aircraft, was located outside the building due to the exhaust fumes that it emits. The base has now connected an interior power converter that eliminates the need to keep an exterior door open during operations. According to Mike McCullough, 305th Civil Engineer Squadron Maintenance Engineering Flight, the base will save about $3,000 a year by keeping the door closed.

In addition to receiving $20,000 from DOE, McGuire officials were given $30,000 from the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century program, or AFSO 21, to further reduce energy use based on the E4 team's recommendations.

"We're going to see a lot of interest, initiatives and money coming to McGuire," said Colonel Martin, "In a few years from now you'll see a different McGuire."

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