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375th Civil Engineer Squadron working to reduce energy use

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Maria Bowman
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Scott Air Force Base officials have placed energy conservation as a top priority, and 375th Civil Engineer Squadron personnel have taken point on reducing electricity usage.

For example, in accordance with the Scott Energy Management Plan, the 375th CES will be upgrading lighting fixtures in Bldg. 1600.

"The older fixtures are inefficient and typically draw more power to produce the same amount of lumens as the new, more efficient units," said Elizabeth Toftemark, 375th CES energy manager.

The team will also install occupancy and daylight sensors to further increase energy savings. These lights will dim to 15 percent capacity when not in use. The 375th CES is also working to upgrade all street and parking lot lights.

"The purpose is to reduce energy consumption by replacing outdated parking and street lighting systems with new energy efficient systems," said Toftemark.

These improvements will allow Scott to move closer toward obtaining the energy conservation goals set forth by the DoD.

"This year, the base is mandated to reduce its energy consumption by 24 percent from the baseline of fiscal year 2003," Toftemark said. "Currently, Scott has only reduced consumption by 19 percent.

"Turning off lights and computers is a great way to help the base to conserve energy. Getting rid of personal refrigerators, coffee pots, and space heaters, which are not allowed, lowers the base's consumption rate."

Everyone on base is responsible for reducing energy consumption, she added, and small actions will contribute toward a more energy-conscience base.

"If everybody does their part to conserve energy, the base could reduce its consumption by 5 to 10 percent without costing any money, and it would help us reach our goal of consumption reduction of 30 percent by 2015."

In fiscal year 2012, the Air Force spent more than $9 billion for energy. This amounts to 8 percent of the Air Force overall budget. Last year, Scott spent $5 million for its energy consumption. With budget constraints, conserving energy will allow money to be spent on more important projects.

Jamie Morin, Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force said that even moderate improvements in our conservation and efficiency, can drive very large dollar savings that can enable us to invest in other vitally needed capabilities.

"Every taxpayer dollar we can save on energy is absolutely going to help us transform resources into increased Air Force readiness, increased combat capability for the joint force," he said.