Energy as an operations enabler

  • Published
  • By Steve Perry
  • 100th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager
October is Energy Awareness Month, and the chosen theme is "New Culture: Energy as an Operations Enabler".

I'm going to start off by asking you all a couple of questions. I'm sure you know the answers already.

OK ... Here is your first question:

How many of you as children or as you were growing up, were always being told by your parents to switch off the lights or don't leave the front door open?

I kind of think that's pretty much everyone, right? With the spiraling cost of electric and other utilities due to the volatile market for fossil derived energy, President Obama and other world leaders have established regulatory orders to create a clean energy economy that will increase our nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment.

The Air Force uses a tremendous amount of energy and has developed a three pillar energy plan to comply with the president's established policies:

1. Reduce Demand: The Air Force is committed to reduce aviation, ground operations, and installation energy demand
2. Increase Supply: The Air Force is committed to increasing the amount of energy supplies available to enhance our nation's energy security via renewable and alternative energy resources (Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Bio-fuels)
3. Culture Change: Making all personnel aware of the importance of good energy stewardship in all that we do.

The fact that you are reading this article shows your interest in our efforts to change the culture and spread energy awareness around the globe. In fiscal 2009 about $4 million was spent on RAF Mildenhall's electric bill.

"Wow!" I hear you cry! But let's think about this, if we didn't have to spend so much of our taxpayers' money (your money) on the utility bills, we could spend it on things that help accomplish the mission more effectively. Better tools, more manning, more hardware.

Just imagine what we all could achieve.

Here's your second question: How can you make a difference on a daily basis?

It's simple ...

· Turn out lights and shut off computer monitors, speakers and TVs when not in use.
· Switch to Compact Fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) - Talk to the Self Help Store.
· Purchase ENERGY STAR / Low Energy equipment.
· Combine trips, share rides and use mass transit (where possible).
· Reduce, reuse, recycle.
· Pass this energy message on to your family, friends and co-workers.

If you have additional energy saving ideas, please don't be afraid to share them.