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Energy competition wraps up, winners announced
Col. Juan Gaud (left), 66th Air Base Group deputy commander, accepts an award for Highest Average Energy Intensity from Tom Schluckebier, base civil engineer, during the Electronic Systems Center staff meeting July 21. Although the air base group recorded the highest energy usage across the base, they were also recognized as the “Biggest Loser” for lowering their energy consumption during the Hanscom Energy Reduction Competition held from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rick Berry)
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Energy competition wraps up, winners announced

Posted 7/28/2011   Updated 7/28/2011 Email story   Print story


by Sarah Olaciregui
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

7/28/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Hanscom Energy Reduction Competition wrapped up on the last day of June and civil engineering officials feel the seeds have been planted to make the base a more energy efficient place.

"We took a baseline energy reading in December," said Karl Berg, base energy manager. "From December to January and then from January to February, there was a distinct drop in usage. We think even before the competition started, people were already starting to make some changes."

Personnel from CE also went back and compared data from two different years.
"We compared May 2010 to May of this year and found that usage was down," Mr. Berg said.

The competition, which began Jan. 1, was envisioned by CE as a way to promote an energy culture change and reduce consumption across the base. It directly ties into an Air Force Materiel Command energy competition that began in July 2010 and was just recently extended until the end of 2011.

The local competition was comprised of two separate contests and two sets of statistics: Average Energy Intensity and Biggest Loser. To measure the average energy intensity portion, competition officials averaged each month's electrical energy consumption per square foot and ranked each organization with those numbers. The Biggest Loser portion measured energy reduction. From that baseline number gathered in December, they measured the cumulative reduction in electrical energy consumption per square feet.

Facilities in the competition were grouped by major organization. The organizations included the Electronic Systems Center, Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate, Battle Management Directorate, Cyber/Netcentric Directorate, 66th Air Base Group and 66th Force Support Squadron. Each organization appointed a leadership "champion" who was in charge of promoting energy conservation.

There were four things that came out of this competition, according Tom Schluckebier, base civil engineer.

"We sent mock utility bills to facility managers," he said. "They got a sense of how much electricity the facility used and how they were doing in the competition."

Another thing the competition provided was a platform for leadership to talk about energy conservation. In addition, it made for some changes in culture.

"Lastly, in CE we learned a lot," said Mr. Schluckebier. "It was evident from the data that the most powerful tool we have is how facilities are put together."

He also amusingly admitted that if you have a power outage, you save a lot of electricity.

CE officials said that they will probably promote another kind of competition in the future. They may choose a couple of buildings to compete against one another or focus on hours of consumption, but admitted this recent competition maximized participation.
"The new electrical meters we have installed gather lots of information," said Mr. Berg, "and we have just scratched the surface in learning what it has to offer."

For now, base officials are waiting on the AFMC competition to wrap up. Upon completion, one base will receive the AFMC Energy Excellence award, which focuses on energy reduction and energy culture change. The award was designed to go beyond just energy reduction because energy usage can be driven by some factors that are hard to control, such as mission activity or weather changes, as well as purposeful efficiency efforts.

At the end of the AFMC competition, first, second and third place awards will be announced and the winners will receive their share of $2.5 million that is currently planned to be set aside and used toward energy related projects.

Although Hanscom's competition is over, base personnel may still submit energy conservation questions, comments or suggestions. To do so, contact the base energy manager at 781-225-2978 or send an e-mail to the energy management mailbox at 66.ABG.CEK.Energy@hanscom.af.mil.

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