Energy Action Month: Energy Team makes big changes for Team Dyess

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katherine Miller
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Each year, October is designated as Energy Action Month, a national campaign led by the Department of Energy. The Air Force participates by educating Airmen on ways they can be more energy efficient while on duty and at home. To assist in the efforts of making the most of energy, Team Dyess’ Energy Team took on three projects that are helping the base cut down on energy usage, money and manpower hours. These three projects earned Team Dyess a Federal Energy and Water Management Program Award.

 “We have a lot of buildings and structures here that are old and antiquated and by putting new equipment in, we can save a lot of energy,” said Tom Denslow, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager.

Last fiscal year 2015, the Dyess Energy Team took on three major projects that helped save more than 43.5 million British thermal units, $1.8 million and 5,614 tons of greenhouse gases.

Project one entailed a utility savings contract. This included installing new light fixtures in buildings around the base and installing infrared heaters in hangars which will cut down on energy costs. This project did not require upfront costs to the government and will take only eight years to pay back from the savings acquired over time.

Project two consisted of the replacement of standard exterior lights with new light emitting diode light fixtures across the base. In total, over 1,100 street lights, parking lot lights and security lights were replaced.

“This replacement helps our electricians out tremendously,” said Denslow. “We’re now replacing the older, standard lighting with these new fixtures that use one half of the power and last longer. We will no longer need to have folks going out at night to replace lights all of the time because these new fixtures will last about 10 years without needing to be replaced.”

Eventually, the Energy Team hopes to have every exterior light on Dyess replaced with new LED light fixtures.

Project three included an upgrade to heating, ventilation and air conditioning and controls in multiple facilities across the base. This development provided energy savings and more efficient equipment using an Energy Management Control System.

“We use this [EMCS] for the air conditioners and the heaters. By installing the EMCS, we can control and monitor the lighting and meter the amount of gas and energy we use in these facilities. We can also troubleshoot issues that may occur from our building without having to send a technician out, which also helps us save costs and labor,” said Hector Portillo, 7th CES industrial controls technician.

These three projects have ensured that existing generators can also provide emergency back up to the base at all times when needed.

“We’ve come a long way and these projects have helped save a lot of time, energy and money,” said Denslow. “We ask that everyone do their part by turning off lights that aren’t being used, adjust thermostats accordingly when you’re not home and of course, report any problems or outages so they can be fixed."