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From energy managers to 'energy champions'

Patriotism in Smart Energy Choices

Patriotism in Smart Energy Choices

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Three of Vandenberg's energy managers from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron here were collectively selected by the Federal Energy Management Program as being the 2010 "energy champions" during the You Have the Power Campaign, which concluded in December.

The recipients of FEMP's honoring and acknowledgement (as energy champions) are Vandenberg's Bradley King, Scott Bly and Pernell Rush.

"Being the one base in the Air Force that was chosen this year to highlight, shows that somebody is noticing our efforts," said Mr. Bly.

According to FEMP's Web site, "Energy champions are Federal employees who have made extraordinary contributions to energy savings efforts. These men and women have developed and advocated innovative practices that have saved energy and money while improving the efficiency of the Federal Government."

Vandenberg's energy managers received this recognition for their development of a robust utility metering program that exceeded the Energy Policy Act (a bill signed by the United States Congress to combat growing energy problems) goals and provided accurate operational monitoring capabilities; energy management and tracking ability; and optimized utility reimbursements from tenant organizations.

"The Department of Defense has a requirement to do advanced metering of certain facilities by the end of fiscal year 2012 - we finished ours a year ago," said Mr. King. "We still have some kinks to work out in regards to software issues, but we have been making progress. Vandenberg was chosen because of the way the base's metering program is set up. We have a couple different technologies of all sorts working together to collect data from meters located throughout the base's nearly 100,000 acres."

Vandenberg's energy managers began developing the base's advanced metering system program during the summer of 2006. Since then, Vandenberg now has more than 500 meters at various facilities on base.

"Vandenberg's metering program has helped reduce energy intensity by nearly 16 percent and has increased wing reimbursements by more than $2 million per year for the past 3 years since we first started putting in these meters," Mr. King said.

The use of the meters establishes a baseline to evaluate future performance in buildings after system upgrades (e.g. efficient heating and lighting systems). Vandenberg uses its meters as a means to help personnel identify the energy performance of its facilities in order to conserve energy and to be more cost efficient.

"You can't manage what you cannot measure," Mr. Bly said. "This recognition helps us with the hardest part of our job - energy awareness. We want to get people thinking about the energy they don't personally have to pay for."

Vandenberg's meters monitor the consumption of electricity, natural gas, water and propane.

"What we are doing now helps us, and the rest of the base, make energy a consideration in all we do," said Mr. King.