Bases Recognized for Conservation Efforts

  • Published
  • By Ms. Jennifer Elmore
Each year the Air Force Facility Energy Center, HQ AFCESA, Tyndall AFB, Fla., recognizes three installations as part of the Reduced Energy Appreciation Program, also known as the REAP awards. Two CONUS bases and one OCONUS base are honored for reducing energy and water intensity and using renewable energy. This year's winners are Toledo ANGB, Ohio; Minot AFB, North Dakota; and RAF Fairford AB, England.

Toledo leads the pack by reducing energy nearly 36 percent (baseline year 2003) and water by 10 percent. "In 2003, we were ranked as one of the top three most energy intensive bases in the Guard," said Lt Col William Giezie, the base civil engineer at Toledo. "Now we're ranked as one of the top three energy performers. We're proud of how far we've come."

Lt Col Giezie says initially the base focused on improving building envelopes by developing a systematic approach to the replacement of built-up roofing systems. Now nearly every building has a "cool" roof with R-25 insulation and white highly solar reflective coverings. Engineers also upgraded florescent lights to T-5 bulbs and fixtures and implemented an aggressive heating and air conditioning policy to establish temperature set points. Lt Col Giezie says these efforts alone reduced energy consumption by 19 percent.

"Next we implemented an automated base wide light management system so that all exterior street and parking lot lights automatically turn off when not needed and come back on prior to the next scheduled shift," said Lt Col Giezie. The base updated all exterior lighting to high efficiency LED fixtures, and removed one-third of the aircraft ramp parking lights with no mission impact.

All three winners of this year's REAP awards created significant energy savings by decentralizing their heat plants. For example, RAF Fairford, UK, has reduced heating oil consumption by 68 percent since 2005. Fairford is a forward operating contingency base. "Local boilers allow us to control the energy use much better," said Fairford Base Civil Engineer Mr. Andrew Davies. "In our contingency dorm building, we don't have to turn on the heat until December, and then we only need to maintain it at 50 or 60 degrees. Whereas before the heat would have to come on in October with everything else."

The Minot AFB energy team is especially proud of its 15 ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems. "GSHPs aren't sexy like photovoltaic arrays, but they're our number one way to reduce energy," said Mr. Tim Thompson, Minot resource efficiency manager. "We don't pay much for utilities, so creating economically feasible projects is difficult. However, soil conditions are right and the energy savings are high, so GSHPs work well for us." Minot engineers plan to install another GSHP system this year and four more in FY13. They are also installing daylighting roofs and infrared heat systems in high bay areas. These efforts have helped reduce energy intensity 31 percent since 2003.

Want to learn more about the energy initiatives at Minot, Toledo, and Fairford? Log onto to view this year's REAP award videos
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