Civil Engineers help raise Energy Awareness

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Civil Engineers planned and implemented energy saving measures here at the 177th Fighter Wing in support of the Department of Defense Energy Awareness Month of October.

Local energy saving initiatives include plans to decommission the central steam plant, fluorescent lighting ballast and bulb replacement, external light retrofit to light emitting diodes (LED) with lower energy consumption and longer life, as well as solar and wind power fixtures at the new running track.

"In 2011 the base had an energy audit where they looked at the whole base and made recommendations on energy improvements we could do on base," said Maj. John Koza, deputy civil engineering squadron commander.

"The results of this study were then taken to create the steam plant project. Installing four individual high-efficiency steam boilers will allow individual control and replace aging, leaky and poorly insulated steam lines providing a substantial decrease in our base's energy consumption," said Koza.

An ongoing initiative keeping electrician Peter Cote busy is the installation and retrofit of newer, higher efficiency T8 fluorescent bulbs and ballasts. The T8 lamps, rated at 32 watts, combined with the newer electronic style ballast, combine to realize a 20% energy savings.

"As the technology gets better, the bulbs last longer and require less maintenance," said Cote. "That's where you come up with savings also, not only in the bulb life and energy savings, but in the maintenance, too."

One of the other projects Koza is working on is with electrical smart meters.

"These electrical smart meters are connected to the incoming power in a building and let me download the energy use within a 30 day period," said Koza. "This allows me to identify certain facilities that are above normal and I can focus in on those and investigate the reasons for the high energy use."

Several new construction projects at the 177th over the last few years have reached the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified Silver level, including the Wing Headquarters, 227th Air Support Operations Squadron and the Munitions Admin building. LEED certified buildings save money and resources while promoting renewable, clean energy.

With the Air Force spending $9 billion dollars on fuel and electricity in 2013, every Airman needs to do their part and make energy a consideration in all we do!