Thoughts on energy consumption and reduction

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Larry O'Neil
  • 126th Air Refuling Wing Facility Management
Most homeowners are aware of the rising cost of energy, and we in the Air National Guard and our facilities are not exempt. As there is little we can do about the rates we pay, there is an abundance of things we can do to reduce our usage. 

In Jan. 2007, Executive Order 13423 was signed by the President of the United States requiring all federal agencies to begin reducing energy by 3% annually for the next 10 years, using 2003 as the baseline year. This reduction effort is to culminate a 30% reduction in electricity and natural gas consumption by 2015. 

Recently the 126th Air Refueling Wing has taken a very strong approach towards reaching these initiatives. Below is a list of changes that you as Wing members will start to notice on a daily basis, and projects that the 126th Civil Engineering Squadron will be instituting using National Guard Bureau/A7 funding.

Current Changes
  • Summer thermostat set points changed from 72 degrees to 76 degrees. (May 09)
  • Winter thermostat set points changed from 72 degrees to 68 degrees. (May 09)
  • The elimination of space heaters in work space unless authorized by the Vice Wing Commander. (May 09)
  • Hot water heaters from 140 degrees to 120 degrees. (July 09)
  • Replacement of T-12 fluorescent light bulbs with T-8 bulbs. (May 08)
  • Reduce exterior lighting at night time; always keeping safety and security at the forefront. (Aug 09)
  • Installation of next generation of HVAC monitoring systems. (Jun 09 - Dec 09)
  • Energy audit of facilities by an independent agency. (Dec 08)
  • All future appliance purchases to be made acquiring Energy Star appliances.
Future Changes
  • Installing motion sensors in offices for lighting.
  • Replace warehouse lighting with more efficient fluorescent lighting.
  • Installing geo-thermal system in two facilities.
  • Installing "Smart" metering at all facilities resulting in more accurate and minute to minute delivery. 
Changes you can make at work
  • When departing a room for more than five minutes turn off room lights and computer monitors.
  • Use televisions only during breaks or for training.
  • At the end of the duty day turn off printers, radios, lights, fans, and all other non-essential appliances.
  • Draw window shades to prevent sunlight heat from over-heating a room in the summer, then raise them in the winter to allow heat to come in.
  • Keep overhead doors closed whenever possible.
It's not only the goal of the 126 ARW to achieve these initiatives, but to pass along the knowledge to allow you to put these principles into practice at home.

Changes you can make at home
  • Wash cloths and dishes after 7 p.m. or before 7 a.m.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with new CFL (compact fluorescent lights).
  • Turn lights off when not in the room.
  • Turn back thermostats when on vacation.
  • Decrease hot water temperature.
  • Reduce shower time.
  • Purchase solar lighting for landscape.
  • Change the furnace filter every other month -- a good energy saving tip.
  • Close the doors and shut the vents in rooms you don't use.
  • Turn off the "heat-dry" feature on your dishwasher. Instead, when the load is finished, open the door and let the dishes "air-dry" on their own.
As a team, over time, and with a few habitual changes and upgrades, we can make a difference. For more information on energy conservation feel free to contact the 126 CES.