Air Force energy program saves Moody thousands

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Whether its pilots utilizing the runway at night or Airmen walking to the base gym before dawn, over the course of a year, Team Moody has experienced noticeably brighter paths.

During the 23d Civil Engineer Squadron’s $3.6 million repair and replacement project, they improved the entire installation’s exterior lighting, as part of the Department of Defense’s Energy Conservation Investment Program efforts.

“As one of the first bases to receive the [ECIP] funding grant, we’re able to construct newer, more efficient energy systems while improving and modernizing current projects,” said Aubrey Gill, 23d CES mechanical engineer. “Replacing all external lights with LED lighting has been and will continue to be a huge benefit. So far, we’ve seen our $300,000 monthly electric bill expenses decrease exponentially from our new energy usage.”

According to a 23d CES base energy production leader, this initiative can be considered a savings only project because it is designed to pay for itself. It is projected to save approximately $355,000 annually with the return of the $3.6 million investment in under 10 years.

All streetlights, parking lot lights, and ground mounted lights were among the renovated and replaced equipment during phase one of the two phase project. The latest and final restorations took place at the hot cargo pad outside the flight line’s perimeter. While Moody’s pilots fly to protect the skies, 14 new security ramp light poles will help aid the 23d Security Forces Squadron to protect the aircraft from intruders during flight line patrols after dusk.

“The structural design and LED capabilities of the newer security ramp lights will exponentially save manpower, money, and resources,” said Gill. “Before the initiative, it costs upward of $500,000 annually just for security ramp light bulb replacements every two years. Now, with the new infrastructure, continual maintenance on these light fixtures are cost free with the program’s 15 year warranty.”

After hearing about the improved energy usage from the approximate 140 light bulbs glaring above the flight line, Robert Montgomery, 23d CES base energy manager, is anxious to continue investing in high efficiency lighting projects during phase two of the program.

“Military bases architectural plans are designed to meet and exceed the standards provided by congress,” said Montgomery. “With the [ECIP], we can accomplish this within the next decade. Energy resiliency is an Air Force wide focus and to be one of the first bases to show these capabilities is significant. 

In addition to seeing the well-lit lights after dark, the initiative’s funding will also repair and replace all internal lights inside the hangars and buildings all across base. After this is completed, Moody hopes to start transitioning to solar energy, which is even more cost efficient.

After awaiting four years to receive funding for the ECIP exterior lighting project grant, Montgomery hopes that its success can lead to a solar energy grant in the near future.

“Solar energy is an advantage for the entire base because we would get our electricity from the sun, which is free energy,” said Montgomery. “Replacing 40 percent of our energy resources with solar energy will greatly reduce our approximate $2 million annual expenses on energy projects.

“I can’t wait to see all of the lights [illuminated], it’s going to be really neat to see,” Montgomery added. “There’s never a dull moment in this career field and we want our [base populace] to experience the same with our lighting and energy usage.”