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Buckley prepares for Energy Awareness Month

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Workers install solar panels at Buckley Air Force Base May 24, 2010. Buckley Air Force Base is installing 5,040 solar panels over six acres on the base to meet the Air Force’s mandate on renewable energy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Labbe)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Workers install solar panels at Buckley Air Force Base May 24, 2010. Buckley Air Force Base is installing 5,040 solar panels over six acres on the base to meet the Air Force’s mandate on renewable energy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Labbe)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Summer has come to a close and we are all looking forward to more tolerable temperatures in the coming weeks. Even better news: this means your power bill is likely to go down. But, if you think you pay a lot for energy, imagine paying Buckley's bill of nearly $800,000 dollars each month. That's money that could be spent on our Airmen, their readiness or our weapons systems.

October is Energy Awareness Month. Since 1991, the Department of Energy (DOE) has used this month to kick off its annual energy awareness campaign, promoting efficient uses of energy. This year's theme "Powering America - We're On Target," highlights the use of renewable resources and energy conservation measures and places an emphasis on increased energy security.

The federal government is the largest consumer of energy in the U.S.; the Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest consumer of energy within the federal government; and finally the Air Force is the largest consumer of energy within the DoD. Thus, the Air Force has the most potential for savings, not only in the area of aviation fuel, but also in facility energy conservation. The theme of powering America further supports the Air Force's overall mission to fly, fight, and win, and reinforces its energy strategy to reduce demand, increase supply, and change the culture.

Buckley has an objective to reduce energy intensity by 3 percent per year from a baseline fiscal year (FY) 2003 and a cumulative goal of 30 percent reduction by FY 2015. From the period of FY 2003 to FY 2010, energy intensity on base has actually increased by 5 percent, so we need to make significant changes in the way the base consumes energy in the future. The energy team has many projects in the works, such as installing ground source heat pumps in the dormitories and upgrading lighting to energy efficient fixtures. However, it is going to take teamwork and discipline.

"It as simple as switching off lights that are not in use," said Oscar Reyes, the Buckley resource efficiency manager assigned to the 460th Civil Engineer Squadron.

Energy conservation "self help" initiatives that can make a difference:

Maintain space temperature standards
- Cooling season occupied thermostats set points are to be no lower than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heating season occupied thermostats set points are to be no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lighting opportunities
- Turn off interior lights at the end of the work day or when they are not needed.
- Report any exterior lighting left on during daylight hours to CE/customer service at 847-9913.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

Appliances/equipment
- Turn off computer monitors, printers, scanners, and other office equipment at the end of the work day. Desktop computers connected to the network must remain on for security updates.
- Use of personal appliances, such as coffee makers, refrigerators and microwaves, should be minimized to the fullest extent and consolidated to break rooms only.
- Purchase only Energy StarR rated products (appliances, equipment, etc.).
Refer to Energy StarR Website (www.energystar.gov ) for a list of qualified products.

To highlight this year's event, Buckley's energy team will host an energy vendor day Oct. 14 at the Leadership Development Center, Bldg 1032 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The team invites the base community to visit the efficient technologies on display and learn how you can make a difference.

(Frank Barco, Tyndall Air Force Base resource efficiency manager, contributed to this article.)
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