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Buckley to implement AFSPC energy policy

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- From high-level leaders to the lowest-ranking Airmen and civilians, a change is coming to Buckley work centers with the intent to minimize the base's electricity bill.

More than $8 million dollars is spent annually on electricity, which is nearly three-fourths the entire base utilities bill. Buckley is the first Air Force Space Command base to implement the AFSPC Appliance/Device Use Policy at installation level in an effort to significantly reduce electricity costs. Work centers are required to begin eliminating redundant small office appliances effective April 17.

"We have a 30-day implementation window ... so people can get waivers for requirements" exempted in the policy, said Ken Webb, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager.

All work centers must be in compliance by May 17.

The change affects all work centers in AFSPC facilities, to include base partners; it also applies to AFSPC units that are base partners on non-AFSPC installations. Service members and civilians at all levels will be required to comply.

In line with Air Force Energy Plan pillars of reducing demand and change the culture, AFSPC leaders looked to their own building first to find redundant appliances. According to the policy letter, facility managers eliminated and consolidated 113 coffee makers, 68 microwaves, 93 refrigerators and 70 TVs in the Peterson Air Force Base Hartinger Building, generating an approximate savings of 170 megawatt-hours and $10,000 a year.

"That's one building," Webb noted. "You start adding that up per building, per installation, per command, and you're going to see changes."

The most obvious of changes will be the reduction of food preparation and storage appliances as work centers will have to ensure such appliances are in a "centrally located area that everyone has access to (such as) central break areas or community areas," said Webb. However, the policy also extends to "everything that you consider an electronic device that is not required to perform your duties, and that includes, at this point, your personal cell phone charger."

While people may use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, they are still not allowed to charge their phones at work. You might use the cell phone for your duties, "but you're effectively using the government's electricity that the base is paying the bill for," Webb explained.

According to the policy, items allowed at individual work centers, offices or cubicles include government-issued items such as computers, monitors, computer speakers, faxes, label makers, phones, printers, shredders, stereos below 30 watts and cell phone chargers. Personal heating and cooling devices or other appliances required for personal comfort or by medical necessity require additional approval through the civilian personnel office and the facility manager.

Items not allowed in individual work centers include aquariums or terrariums that require being plugged in, food and beverage preparation and storage appliance, electronic picture frames, lamps, refrigerators, stereos above 30 watts, TVs and personal cell phone chargers.

"It's the facility manager's responsibility now to be a part of this. Of course, it follows the chain of command ... for folks not in compliance of this, and the whole goal of this is to remove the excess stuff that is accumulating in people's offices," Webb said. However, "We're not just junking all of this stuff.... Personal appliances go home." Also, a process is in order through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office.

People who require certain appliances, whether for medical or other reasons, have a 30-day time period to apply for a waiver.

Waivers will be considered for needs such as insulin storage, circulation issues requiring a space heater, and heating and cooling issues in office spaces that the civil engineer squadron cannot resolve through work orders.

The civilian personnel office will handle waivers for civilian members' medical requirements to ensure privacy is maintained, Webb said. A form, without specifics to avoid violations of HIPPA and the Privacy Act of 1974, will be provided to the building managers.

As people clear their work places of redundant appliances, they should consider removing older appliances first. Appliances that are newer and Energy Star-rated should be kept over all others.

"Electricity is (involved in) a significant portion of what we do. So we're looking to curtail consumption," Webb said. "Basically, the primary goal is that we're conserving funds and resources today to help support the mission of tomorrow."

For more information, questions or concerns regarding the policy, call Webb at 720-847-9189. For questions or concerns regarding civilian employees, call the Human Resource Specialist at 720-847-6372.
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