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Energy Team provides tips, free energy-reducing items

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Energy awareness has become an integral part of the Air Force’s mission and proper steps should be taken to accomplish the target goals set by the Air Force Special Operations Command. “We cannot overstate the criticality of every Airman embracing energy as a consideration in all we do”, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua Green)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Energy awareness has become an integral part of the Air Force’s mission and proper steps should be taken to accomplish the target goals set by the Air Force Special Operations Command. “We cannot overstate the criticality of every Airman embracing energy as a consideration in all we do”, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua Green)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Moody's Energy Team needs your help!

They are trying to make fiscal 2011 a record year for energy savings, but everyone must pitch in to accomplish this. They want to reduce our base's energy consumption by 18 percent, a savings of $586,818.

Why should you care? Because saving energy is not only good for the planet, it's also good for the Air Force's bank account.

"Because of the Base Realignment and Closure move in 2007, we've been given a little bit of leeway in our energy usage since then and haven't faced budget cuts," said Althea Spriggs, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager and Energy Team member. "But we aren't planning on having that cushion next year. This affects both us and the community because increasing our usage means another energy plant may have to be built, which is something the taxpayers are responsible for funding."

The base is doing all they can to spread the word on what individuals and units can do to help make sure 2011 is the record-breaking year they hope for.

"The most effective way of emphasizing the importance of efficient energy use is simply making people aware of it," Mrs. Spriggs said. "To help educate them about it, we are being a bit more aggressive in getting their attention. The more they hear about it, the more they might think about actually taking action in helping reach this goal."

To help in the process of reaching this goal, the Energy Team has a few Air Combat Command-funded energy-reducing items available free of charge to units.

"We've got three specific items that make saving energy even easier because they require little thought," said Mrs. Spriggs. "First we've got compact fluorescent light bulbs, which may cost more for consumers initially but save them money in the long-run.

"Next are the occupancy sensors, which turn themselves on and off automatically during entry and non-use; these alone can eliminate 20 to 80 percent of lighting energy costs," she added. "Finally, we have smart strips, which are eight-outlet power strips that reduces energy costs and helps the environment by turning power-consuming devices off base on occupancy."

Each office can get 10 to 20 CFLs, but other supplies will be given out based on each facility's needs.
In addition to these group efforts, individuals will play a large part in making this happen.

"Because light use is one of the biggest areas we have control over, we're trying to publicize the fact most bulbs give out 90 percent heat and only 10 percent light," said Don Montgomery, 23rd CES base energy manager and Energy Team member. "Along with simple things such as turning off the lights when you leave the office, there are many other things you can do that will help us reach the 18 percent goal this fiscal year."

The Energy Team suggests the following eight top tips:
- Turn out the lights when you leave your office for more than a few minutes
- Keep the thermostat at 76 degrees during the summer and 68 degrees during the winter
- Make sure floor and wall vents are not blocked
- Use natural lighting instead of electricity when possible (Open the blinds and use the windows)
- Do not use space heaters
- Turn off copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines overnight
- Promptly report all water leaks
- Remove personal refrigerators; downsize lounges if possible

One government website, www.energystar.gov, also provides more useful tips for reducing energy use in the home:
- Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use
- Repair any faucet leaks; a leaky faucet can waste gallons of water
- Use a power strip as a central "turn off" point for electronics, video games and computers when not in use
- Appliances account for about 20 percent of a house's energy bill; newer, more energy-efficient models can save energy and water

Look for the team every Friday at the Exchange. They will be handing out information and throughout the month will also visit different base buildings, using a light meter to demonstrate which lights are inefficient.

For more information about this, e-mail moodyafbenergyteam@moody.af.mil or call Mrs. Spriggs at 229-257-2395. More information on Moody's Energy Awareness Campaign can be found at http://www.moody.af.mil/energyinitiative.asp.