HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force top service in green power; Cannon does its environmental part

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The Air Force purchased more renewable energy than any other member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s green-power partnership last year, according to a report released Jan. 24 by the EPA. 

This is the second year in a row the Air Force has topped the list consisting of U.S. companies and organizations that purchase significant amounts of renewable energy. 

The Air Force purchased 1,066,397 megawatt hours of renewable energy in 2005, representing 11 percent of all electrical usage by the Air Force. 

In 2005, Cannon Air Force Base purchased $79,000 in renewable wind energy, reclaimed 30 percent of treatment plant wastewater for irrigation and spent $120,000 to upgrade base irrigation systems, which translated to a savings of 1 million gallons of water per year, according to the awards package submitted for the Installation Excellence Award.

Mr. Bill Custer, Air Combat Command Energy Manager, visited Cannon last week to review the energy data collection process and provide instructions using the Defense Utility Energy Reporting System (DUERS), the main mechanism for reporting energy consumption by the Air Force to the Department of Defense. 

“We’ve been very aggressive in pursuing renewable energy because it makes economic sense,” said Mr. Jim Snook, Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency. “[The] industry has seen that we are committed to renewable energy and they are bringing ideas and projects to us.” 

In addition to monetary savings, the environment is a big focus in using renewable energy sources. “If you are using a renewable energy source, you are not polluting as much as you normally would,” said Mr. Custer. 

As the largest purchaser of renewable energy in DoD, the Air Force is working to find ways to use renewable energy sources, such as solar power. “When we run out of fuel oil, we will have some of the technology developed and we will have some of the processes in place; we won’t be starting from ground zero,” said Mr. Custer. 

Emphasizing efforts in efficiency, Mr. Custer said, “We are doing as much as we can in the civil engineering community to replace the inefficient equipment we have [such as] air conditioners, heaters, boilers and lights,” while reminding consumers to help. “The best way to save energy is to turn it off when you’re not using it.” 

(Information also provided by Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.)