An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsArticle Display

Vandenberg joins Operation Change Out

Vandenberg has joined Operation Change Out, a joint Department of Energy and Department of Defense event. This challenge is the first national, military-focused energy-efficiency campaign to encourage every serviceman and woman to save energy, money, and protect the environment by replacing their inefficient, incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star-qualified bulbs. (Graphic courtesy of Operation Change Out)

Vandenberg has joined Operation Change Out, a joint Department of Energy and Department of Defense event. This challenge is the first national, military-focused energy-efficiency campaign to encourage every serviceman and woman to save energy, money, and protect the environment by replacing their inefficient, incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star-qualified bulbs. (Graphic courtesy of Operation Change Out)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- How many Team V members does it take to change a light bulb?

All of them, if they want to top the charts of the Operation Change Out military challenge.

The Department of Defense and Department of Energy are co-sponsoring the event, which is ongoing until Oct. 1. Operation Change Out is the first national, military-focused energy-efficiency campaign to encourage every serviceman and woman to save energy, money, and protect the environment by replacing their inefficient, incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star-qualified bulbs, according to Operation Change Out documents. 

Vandenberg has already begun working on this program, having put together $2 million in a contract for the installation of Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent lighting and other energy efficient bulbs. This goes a long way to replacing bulbs around base in more than 2,000 facilities. 

"We're also trying to work with our own shops and the base supply store," said Scott Bly, one of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron's resource energy managers. "We have to work to get them in the mode of not even ordering the older-type bulbs anymore." 

In fact, starting in 2009, incandescent bulbs will not be available for commercial sale in California. 

"We actually have a couple of distributors who are no longer working with us on incandescent light fixtures anymore," said Brad King, the 30th CES energy manager. "They're only selling the fluorescent counterparts or LEDs. The compact fluorescents are definitely more cost effective." 

But the change out can't be done by just the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron's energy management team. They are looking for the help of facility managers and base residents. Facility managers can ask specifically for compact fluorescents and Energy Star-qualified bulbs at the base supply store to install in their facilities. Base housing residents can replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs. And to make sure these changes count toward the goal of 2,089 change-outs for Vandenberg, anyone who makes these changes should bring in their receipts to Mr. King for verification. 

These receipts will not only help toward being at the top of Operation Change Out, but could also mean money coming back to Vandenberg. 

"We're working with PG&E to capture all the compact fluorescent swap outs we do because we could potentially get money back for these energy efficient lighting retrofits," Mr. King said. "If we get the receipts and purchase orders for every one of those, and we put them together on one application, we get money back for every single bulb we install." 

Facility managers and base residents who want to help with both the PG&E program and Operation Change Out can also bring receipts from past purchases dated back to April 22. 

Although there is a beginning and end this "operation," Team Vandenberg will continue to move toward more energy efficient light fixtures around the base. 

"Certainly we're going to keep going," Mr. Bly said. "It just makes sense to keep going until we're done."