by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/26/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The
Air Force is no stranger to the saying "do more with less," and that's
exactly what Team Osan has in mind when being energy efficient.
The Department of Defense is the single largest consumer of energy in
the nation and the Air Force consumes more energy than any other
service, explained Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley at the 2012
National Clean Energy Summit Aug. 7.
"Energy is a critical part of everything we do in the Air Force and
across DOD," Donley said. Reducing energy demand and increasing energy
supply sources are vital areas as the department looks to identify
efficiencies and expand capabilities, he added.
Therefore, during October's energy awareness month, Osan has stepped up
to meet federal and executive order mandates to reduce annual energy
usage, explained 2nd Lt. Lara Harris, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron
energy conservation manager.
"Although saving energy is an on-going effort that each member should be
participating daily in our lives, having a dedicated month to advertise
energy conservation helps bring awareness to action," she said. "Since
the mandates, Osan has met our annual goal every year of reducing our
energy usage. The Air Force spends over $1 billion each year in facility
energy - electricity, water, and heating fuel. Even if we save a few
percentages, it plays a large part in the big Air Force picture."
Osan alone has installed smart meters, low-draw induction lights,
detected water leaks, and researched possible clean energy sources, the
captain explained. These projects as well as each individual's efforts
have contributed to Osan's energy conservation successes, and it's easy.
"Everyone can play a part in saving energy," Harris said. "For dorm
residents, it's as easy as replacing traditional light bulbs with CFL
bulbs, which are available at the 51st CES Self-Help office. Turning off
water faucets while brushing teeth or shaving, and ensuring windows are
closed while AC is on makes a difference."
Airmen can also help at work by removing personal appliances, turning
off lights or equipment, logging off computers, and reporting facility
"Something as simple as everyone at Osan turning off their monitors at
the end of the day and the start of weekends can save an annual amount
of $82K base-wide," she said.
Osan was just awarded funding for a Ground Source Heat Pump project, the
first-ever renewable energy project set to begin in November, explained
the captain. The project will use geothermal energy for heating rather
than purchasing expensive fuel.
"This is a key step toward meeting the federal goal of having 100
percent renewable energy by 2030," she said. "We can't do it without
everyone's help. If everyone makes a conscious effort to conserve
energy, we can continue to meet federal mandates and contribute to the
fight as a team."
"The base energy team is developing more renewable and alternative
energy type of projects," said Kristi Yu, 51st CES resource efficiency
manager. "The next project will be the passive solar technology type
application. The base energy team is putting the effort to help carbon
footprint reduction through clean energy use."