Base leaders continue to discuss ways to save energy

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
About four years ago, Robins started an energy awareness and conservation program which has achieved positive results. Attendees at a recent Energy Forum here highlighted the program's efforts, discussing what has worked and what hasn't in planning a way ahead for energy reduction.

About 40 attendees spent two days discussing the state of energy reduction efforts in the AFMC and at Robins. The aim was to provide energy program updates and initiatives to base leaders, and solicit inputs on improvements.

"It was a chance to review our plans for the future with other bases and Air Force agencies and determine next steps for conserving energy at Robins," said Terry Landreth, 78th Civil Engineer Group. "Overall, I think we accomplished that. It was a successful event."

Robins is working to help the Department of Defense achieve its goal of reducing overall energy intensity 30 percent by Sept. 30, 2015. (Intensity is a measure of the amount of energy consumed per square feet of facility space.) Despite positive results from various energy-reduction initiatives, the base as a whole has only decreased its energy intensity by about 5 percent.

"It's not the best picture; we still have a lot of work to do," Dave Bury, base energy manager.

One area discussed during the forum was metering, which supports billing measurements and helps verify conservation results. More than 400 meters have already been installed at Robins, and the base aims to widely expand metering, as well as correct and certify current meters to ensure they are providing accurate data.

Dozens of other ideas were bandied about during brainstorming sessions at the forum. Participants discussed energy-saving ideas at the base level and headquarters level that they felt would have the most impact with the following criteria in mind: supportable, executable, sustainable, affordable, flexible and reliable.

Also discussed were the results of five independent energy analyses conducted on Robins within the past three years. Each analysis resulted in finding unique opportunities to reduce demand, increase supply and lower cost.

"We came up with some really great ideas," said Col. Mitchel Butikofer, 78th Air Base Wing commander. "The challenge is implementing these ideas. We need to sit down and prioritize and determine what action items will be most beneficial. We have to make sure we are doing the right things at the right times, that our vision going forward is the right vision."

The Energy Office presented the outline for the way ahead to meet the immediate and long term energy conservation requirements. Incorporated into this plan will be seven action items that were developed as part of the open discussion portion of the forum:

· Develop a meter investment plan
· Develop local facility consumption benchmarks
· Create an interagency team to evaluation alternate supply options
· Improve computer energy management
· Reduce the number of personal refrigerators and other personal devices from the office space
· Codify a VPP-like recognition program for energy conservation
· Effectively control process energy