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October is Energy Action Month

October is Energy Action Month, which makes this is the opportune time to give an update on the Fairchild Energy Program. This year was great for energy savings.  We experienced a two percent reduction in electricity usage, and an 11 percent reduction in natural gas usage from last year. (Courtesy Photo)

October is Energy Action Month, which makes this is the opportune time to give an update on the Fairchild Energy Program. This year was great for energy savings. We experienced a two percent reduction in electricity usage, and an 11 percent reduction in natural gas usage from last year. (Courtesy Photo)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash -- October is Energy Action Month, which makes this is the opportune time to give an update on the Fairchild Energy Program. I have been fortunate enough to be your Energy Manager for the past two years and would like to tell you what we have accomplished together as a base, and where we are headed to build an even better energy future.

This year was great for energy savings. We experienced a two percent reduction in electricity usage, and an 11 percent reduction in natural gas usage from last year. These reductions in energy consumption resulted in a savings of approximately $200,000.

One of our most successful energy-saving projects was completed last year. We modernized our hangars with new LED lighting and installed infrared tube heaters in place of blast furnaces. We then went one step further and also added insulation to the walls and ceilings of the hangars, beyond what is required by code. Although these seem like simple changes, they add up to large decreases in energy consumption, a 42 percent reduction, to be exact. These changes not only helped us save energy, but created a more comfortable work environment for Airmen.

Reducing energy use will continue as we look to the future to improve the base as a whole and provide everyone a better place to work. Some of our ideas include:

• Upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning units and light fixtures
• Electric government-owned vehicles and charging stations
• Building external surface improvements to windows, doors and the insulation of walls and roofs
• Ground-source heat pumps, HVAC system that uses the ground as a heating and cooling source
• Xeriscaping and reforestation
• Producing electricity through the use of solar energy
• Using solar energy to produce hot water, reducing the use of natural gas for hot water production
• Installing facility backup generators that produce heat in addition to electricity
• Storing solar energy to produce electricity for night operations

Thank you for your contributions toward energy savings. Our projects are not the only reason we are saving energy every year. Your conscious efforts to reduce consumption are noticed and appreciated. I hope we can continue to work together to make Fairchild a more energy-conscious and sustainable base. You can continue to contribute to energy-saving efforts by any and all of the following: switching to LED lighting, using programmable thermostats, washing clothes on the cold setting, sealing gaps on doors and windows to improve insulation, utilizing natural lighting when possible and using heavy window treatments during the winter to help seal in the heat in your home.

If you have a project suggestions, ideas for additional energy savings, or have any questions about the Fairchild Energy Program, please call ryan.regrutto@us.af.mil or call at 247-2674.