Saving energy to save money

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

One million dollars is a large sum of money. That is the amount Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases consume in electricity monthly.

One quarter of that energy is supplemented by renewable energy gathered by the solar field, said Jeffrey Blazi, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron energy program manager.

"We are federally mandated by Executive Order 13423 to reduce three percent of our energy intensity per year," said Blazi. "That is the amount of energy used per square foot that is heated and cooled."

The goal set by the executive order compounds and will require the base to reduce 30 percent of its energy usage by the end of the fiscal year.

"[At] The beginning of the fiscal year the base was at 21 percent energy savings," said Blazi. "The number is calculated annually to include energy usage throughout the seasons."

The savings goal is not only for electricity, but includes all fuel used to power the bases.

Saving energy includes natural gas, electric and propane, which Creech AFB consumes a large quantity of, said Blazi.

Last fiscal year the base was awarded $3 million in energy projects that are being executed this year to save $700,000 a year in reduced energy usage.

"We have many large projects in the works to save the base money in the long run," said Blazi.

Some of those larger projects are replacing lighting with energy efficient bulbs across the base, installing occupancy sensors in normally unmanned buildings, and building envelope improvements such as window, door, duct and pipe insulation.

"Heating, ventilating and air conditioning improvement of $500,000 to save $200,000 annually will be installed," said Blazi.

Variable motor controls will be installed to reduce heating and cooling motor usage to adjust power output according to buildings occupancy. Retro commissioning of the HVACs that aren't being replaced ensures all parts are working at maximum ability.

"The paint booth requires a lot of heat," said Reg Merriman, 99th CES energy management project manager. "One project in the works is to reuse the heated air from inside [the building] instead of constantly heating cool air from outside."

Creech AFB will also benefit from this year's projects with the installation of infrared heating in one of its' hangars, said Blazi

Airmen can help reach the base conservation goal by doing simple things on a daily basis.

"The key is turning things off," said Blazi. "Monitors, lights, printers and small appliances can all be turned off when out of the office."

Heating and cooling is designed to work with doors and windows closed. Leaving doors and windows open may cause the HVAC to turn on.

Though it is getting cold, safety is also a concern.

"Space heaters are prohibited on Nellis AFB," said Blazi. "They use a lot of energy and can potentially be a fire hazard."

The base also has a system in place to help with its energy foot print.

"There is a base-wide energy management system that controls over 200 buildings air conditioning and heating control schedule," said Blazi. "If there is a change in occupancy hours, you can call and change the schedule to make sure the space is comfortable to meet mission requirements."

Though the base does all it can to save energy, Airmen can always submit new and innovative ideas to help the base meet its goal to the CE customer service at (702) 652-2301 or energy management at (702) 652 7790.

"We take the money given for energy and try and maximize energy saving to the best of our ability," said Blazi.