Last year, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., decreased its energy consumption throughout the year by practicing smarter energy choices and finding more efficient power sources.
This year, Luke continued its energy conservation efforts by putting an Energy Awareness booth inside of the Base Exchange Oct. 2 and again Oct. 13 to educate Thunderbolts on energy efficiency during National Energy Awareness Month.
“One of the biggest challenges in reducing our energy footprint is understanding what kind of impact our use, or misuse, of energy has on the mission and our personal lives,” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Boedecker, 56th Civil Engineering Squadron base utilities manager. “By laying out the facts in a relatable way, we hope to ultimately change a person’s habits when it comes to making good energy choices such as turning off office equipment at the end of the day or by letting in more sunlight.”
In front of the entrance to the BX, the energy and utilities mangers set up an energy generating cranking device to demonstrate how much effort goes into powering three different types of light bulbs.
“When we flip on light switches we expect for the light to turn on without even knowing how much effort goes into powering them,” Boedecker said. “When put into a base wide perspective the amount of energy the machines go through to power the base greatly accumulates. By creating awareness we are able to conserve power and increasing base resiliency.”
In addition to the energy saving information going out to the public, many of the new facilities at Luke have been constructed with solar power generation to push towards exceeding the energy star standards.
“This year the base spent 88 percent of its utility costs in electricity alone,” said Christine Archie, 56th Civil Engineering Squadron energy manager. “But, 24 percent of the energy used this year came from a renewable energy source, which is above the state guideline of 10 percent, continuing the effort to make small adjustments to create an even bigger impact.”
Luke is dedicated to identifying, communicating and solving problems. Conquering the task of increasing energy efficiency seems insurmountable but awareness is a key first step to making changes.