Since October is Energy Action Month, it’s a time for everyone to think about the importance of energy in their daily lives. The Nellis Energy team members here have been working to boost knowledge about energy conservation around the community by meeting with patrons at the exchange.
In 2011, the Air Force spent $9.7 billion on fuel and electricity, more than twice what was spent 10 years ago. Fuel and electricity now make up almost 10 percent of the Air Force’s budget.
“The Nellis Energy Team was awarded $2.5 million in energy projects in fiscal year 2012, which are projected to save Nellis and Creech AFB $330,000 annually in reduced electric and gas costs,” said Jeff Blazi, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron Nellis energy manager. “The awarded energy projects include the installation of energy efficient boilers, facility lighting upgrades, and air conditioning system efficiency improvements.”
The team explained to Exchange patrons that by simply turning off lighting in unused rooms, the public could save a large amount of energy and money.
Servicemembers know how critical energy can be to accomplish the mission. The Air Force frequently flies resupply missions dropping barrels of fuel to forward bases and ensuring installations have needed electricity.
In aviation, Airmen have reduced fuel consumption 4 percent since 2006 by eliminating unnecessary cargo, flying more fuel efficient routes, cleaning engines regularly and even loading cargo in new ways to better balance aircraft. These initiatives and others have saved $165 million and that translates into more capability allowing the Air Force to transport 27 percent more cargo on just 3 percent more fuel.
On installations, civil engineers have reduced facility energy use by 16 percent since 2003 by replacing light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescents, upgrading uninsulated windows and doors, repairing leaking water pipes, and controlling inside temperature set-points.
“Every Airman can help take action against wasted energy,” Blazi said.
Turn off computer monitors at the end of the day or when not in use for more than 20 minutes, so that it can properly enter energy-saving sleep mode. Reduce idling in vehicles. Thirty minutes of idling burns through one gallon of gas. Consolidate personal appliances in workspaces, like coffee makers or microwaves.
Looking at the everyday job, Blazi said, each individual can personally impact the Air Force energy vision. Keep evaluating how the job uses energy, and then find ways to do it smarter, he said.
By identifying new policies, processes, and technologies in the ways that we use energy, Airmen are helping to limit costs, enhance readiness, and expand capability.