FAIRBORN – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has saved $1 million in energy costs throughout the last five years by engaging in various conservation projects, including simple changes, such as utilizing more energy-efficient light bulbs and unplugging equipment as it is not in use, in addition to larger projects, such as designing more energy-friendly buildings.
“I look at it in two ways: first, as the commander, I’m very happy; second: as a taxpayer, I’m even more happy,” said Col. John Devillier, commander of the 88th Air Base Wing. “This is our money that we’re trying to save – yours and mine – so its a concerted effort on everyone’s part.”
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base celebrated its savings at an energy action kick-off event Monday, held in conjunction with the United States Air Force’s Energy Awareness month, in which President and CEO Tom Raga of Dayton Power and Light presented a check worth $1 million, which will go back toward energy-saving initiatives, according to Energy Engineer Noah Fillian of Wright-Patterson Civil Engineering Energy Management Team.
“There’s been dozens of projects we’ve completed,” Fillian said. “We are saving close to $1 million each year at this point.”
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base pays approximately $3 million per month in utility costs; It is the third largest utility user in the United States Air Force. However, Devillier said he does not wish for Wright-Patterson to be the third largest utility consumer, and his goal is to continue saving energy. Unplugging equipment alone, such as monitors and printers over weekends, saves $5,000. Wright-Patterson will continue to partner with DP&L for more projects, such as battery storage and renewable energy, according to Devillier and Raga.
“To date, the energy efficiency improvements have been made to 100 buildings on the base … By making these changes, the Air Force Base will realize 16 million kilowatt hours in savings per year,” Rage said. “That’s a huge number, but what does that mean to you and me? It could be powering 1,500 homes, or take 2,300 cars off the road or it could be compared to preserving 93 acres of forest.”
Individual residencies can save energy by switching to newer light bulbs. Fillian said they use 10 percent of the power that other light bulbs utilize. In addition, individuals can take a look at their HVAC systems, making sure its filters are clean. Fillian advises utilizing energy star rated equipment, as it could qualify individuals for rebates. As the holiday season approaches, Raga recommends that individuals utilize LED bulbs for their decorations.
“Focus your energy toward projects and areas where equipment is running all hours,” Fillian said. “HVAC projects, air conditioning equipment, interior or exterior lighting projects, building envelope projects – new windows, things like that – those don’t have the same savings as mechanical equipment can have though. On a smaller scale, look for the newest technology lighting you can possibly get your hands on.”
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532. To follow her on Twitter, search for @wnvickers. For more features online, visit our website or like our page on Facebook.