October is Energy Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Capt Ryan Kristof
  • Alpena CRTC
October is Energy Awareness Month

Capt Ryan Kristof
Alpena CRTC Energy Manager

This October, the Air Force joins our nation once again to observe Energy Awareness Month. This year's theme, "Power the Force, Fuel the Fight," encourages us to do more than just be "aware." Instead, military personnel and civilians alike should take action.

Federal energy goals require the Air Force to reduce energy intensity 30 percent by 2015, reduce water intensity 26 percent by 2020, and increase renewable energy to 25 percent of all electricity use by 2025. But as time goes by, the goals are getting tougher. We need everyone doing all they can do to help the Air Force continue our energy program success

Air Force energy strategy for meeting these goals is to reduce demand, increase supply, and change the culture.

Reduce demand - The Air Force is committed to increasing our energy efficiency through facility audits, utility meters, energy recommissionings, and a variety of other tools to pursue aggressive reduction targets. The Alpena CRTC is charging ahead with innovations in smart meter technology, updated HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems, lighting retrofits, sustainable building practices for new construction and updates on our energy management control system.

Increase supply - The Air Force is committed to research, testing and certifying new technologies, as well as renewable and sustainable resources in order to create new domestic sources of supply where economically feasible. Civil Engineering will start a project this fall to install a geothermal HVAC system in the CRTC Fire Department. A geothermal system extracts (or dumps) heat from the earth and uses that energy to heat the building. This project is expected to have an annual energy savings of 3,762,000,000 BTU's (British Thermal Units). This is the equivalent to 30,100 gallons of gasoline. That's enough to fill up the average vehicle over 2000 times!

Change the culture - Take "ACTION" this Energy Awareness Month. A-C-T-I-O-N stands for: Appliance reduction; Computer log off; Temperature set points; Inform facility managers; Outdoor conservation; and No waste. These are easy steps that can yield positive results for the community and the Air Force.

Appliance reduction - Reducing the number of appliances in your facility can yield significant energy savings. Refrigerators, coffee pots, and microwaves should be consolidated into break rooms.

Computer log off -Don't just pull out your ID card and go home, remember to log off. The Air Force IT Power Management Team estimates this action alone can save more than $10 million a year.

Temperature Control - Most bases use set points of 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. Dress appropriately for the temperature in your facility. Do not use space heaters or fans.

Inform your facility manager - Report incorrect temperature set points, leaky faucets, blocked air vents, cracked windows, and other problems to your facility manager or civil engineering customer service.

Outdoor conservation - If you notice area lights left on in a parking lot during the day, report it to Civil Engineer Customer Service.

No waste - Don't turn a blind eye to problems. If you see something that doesn't need to be on, turn it off. If you see a problem, report it.