56th CES rewarded for cost saving efforts

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Patrick McDermott, Arizona Public Service (APS) senior account manager, presents Christine Archie, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Portfolio Optimization office manager, and Master Sgt. John Haas, 56th CES base utility manager, with an APS energy efficiency reward through the Peak Solutions program Oct. 15, 2019, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. APS presented the 56th CES Portfolio Optimization office a reward for their accomplishments in shedding 1.2 megawatts, enough energy to power 120 homes, July 12, 2019.

In the month of national energy awareness, the Peak Solutions program run by the Arizona Public Service, Arizona’s largest electric utility, presented the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Portfolio Optimization office with a reward of more than $13,500 on Oct. 15, for their accomplishments in saving energy.

“Luke has always been a tremendous partner to the APS team,” said Patrick McDermott, APS senior account manager. “They have always shut off non-essential energy during the peak times for energy consumption during the heat of the summer. Luke has been a part of the Peak Solutions program for many years.”

The Portfolio Optimization office performs energy audits every four years on covered buildings, which are buildings that make up 75 percent of the total energy consumption on base. During the audits, the personnel identify factors that could make the equipment more energy efficient.

The energy office saved more than $96,000 by shedding 1.2 megawatts (1.2 million watts) July 12, 2019, in a span of four hours.

“To compare to my house in July, it peaked at about 10,000 watts, so Luke shed enough energy to power 120 homes,” said Christine Archie, 56th CES energy office manager.

In 2018, the $13,500 reward was used to build new water meters. The money earned from the reward this year will go toward new electric meters for customers.

The customers without electric meters were receiving estimated bill costs, yet the new electric meters would allow the Portfolio Optimization office to bill the customers accurately, Archie said.

In September 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared October as National Energy Awareness Month in an effort to save energy and encourage government agencies and organizations to raise awareness of the importance of energy conservation.

Every action an individual performs to conserve energy makes an impact on the environment, whether it be small or large, Archie said.

“Some tips to save energy is to just turn off the light whenever you leave the room,” said Greg Weitzel, 56th CES engineering technician. “Also, unplug items when you’re not using them. It doesn’t use much energy to keep things plugged in, but it all adds up.”

The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration shop helps in the process of saving energy. A lot of the work is credited to that shop, Archie said.

Every unit on Luke supports the mission whether it be maintaining the jets or tending to the troops. The energy office plays a significant role in supporting the base’s ability to successfully complete that mission by ensuring that energy consumption is at an acceptable level.

“The money we save in energy related expenses can in turn be used for flying missions, and that’s our priority,” Archie said. “We’re all here for mission support.”