HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — October is Energy Action Month, and an opportunity for Hill Air Force Base to highlight why energy is a critical enabler for the service.
“In recent years, the Air Force has increased its focus on energy resiliency for sustainability and ensuring the ability to perform mission-critical functions, under adverse weather conditions, threats, and potential attacks on infrastructure,” said Karen Bastian, energy outreach coordinator with the 75th Civil Engineer Squadron.
Hill AFB’s Energy Management Office continually works to create resilience solutions in support of this renewed focus.
Bastian said audits are performed to identify efficiency opportunities in relation to heating, cooling, water, gas and steam processes or a specific piece of equipment.
“The objective of an energy audit is to identify current energy consumption and cost-saving measures and to provide sufficient information to judge the technical and economic feasibility of upgrade projects,” Bastian said.
Last year, Hill AFB awarded an Energy Saving Performance Contract to Energy Systems Group. ESPCs allow federal agencies to partner with energy service companies to provide energy savings, resiliency and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs to the government and without special Congressional appropriations.
The ESPC at Hill is being used to fund a comprehensive project throughout the base with an allocation of $42 million for infrastructure upgrades to 328 buildings across more than nine million square feet.
Some energy conservation improvements have included new LED lighting and lighting controls in 166 buildings, as well as upgrades to the steam distribution systems in 162 buildings, compressed air systems, and various other ventilation and control systems across the base.
In addition, a new 3.55 MW solar array was completed this summer that feeds directly into the base’s electric grid, adding to the base’s existing renewable energy production capability.
In total, the project improvements will reduce annual energy consumption at Hill by 9% and energy costs by 13%, while increasing the installation’s distributed and renewable energy portfolio by 30%.
“By prioritizing energy management and resilience, we are building a strong foundation for the future warfighter and ensuring Airmen have energy when and where they need it,” said John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy.
Every year the Air Force spends nearly $6 billion on energy, with approximately 82% used for aviation fuel, 16% for facilities and installations, and 2% for ground vehicles.
During Energy Action Month, the Air Force will emphasize the need for smart energy solutions and inform Airmen, Air Force senior leaders, policy makers, and aligned organizations about what they can do to effectively distribute, generate, and manage resilient and reliable energy across the enterprise.
Members of the Hill AFB Energy Management Office visited West Weber Elementary School Oct. 2. Energy officials will host a luncheon with base leaders to discuss energy initiatives Oct. 10, and there will be an energy fair for patrons at the Base Exchange from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 24.
The Energy Office at Hill AFB was recently awarded the 2019 Federal Energy and Water Management Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. A team will be traveling to Washington D.C. to receive the award Oct. 28.
(Portions of this article were taken from Air Force press releases.)