Fierce competition ahead for 2010 AETC Energy Incentive Award

  • Published
  • By Dan Calvert
  • Civil Engineering
Last June, Vance finished first place in the AETC Energy Incentive Award competition with an energy reduction of 13.4 percent, earning a prize of $1.5 million for the base. The competition for this year has already begun, and we have a great shot at winning. 

However, it is going to be even tougher now since we have a huge target on our backs. Many bases are in position to challenge for this award, including Altus AFB, Okla. which finished in second place by one tenth of a percent. You can bet Altus is going to be doing everything they can to beat us. Participation by everyone on base will play a key role in our ability to win. 

One big way to help out is to ensure that thermostats in office areas, dorm rooms and other conditioned spaces are set in accordance with the base-wide temperature standard. The temperature standards are within comfort ranges recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. However, some people may be less comfortable than others. 

One way to improve the comfort level of an office space without using any energy is to adjust the window blinds. During the winter, radiant heat loss through windows can be mitigated by closing the blinds on north-facing windows. Also, blinds on south-facing widows can be opened to allow free solar heating. Blinds should be closed at the end of the day to reduce over-night heat losses. During the summer, closing the blinds can reduce the temperature of an office area by several degrees. 

Due to our location, jumping out to an early lead is important to secure a victory for Vance. Two-thirds of our energy consumption for the year takes place in the first six months of the fiscal year, and only one-third of our energy is consumed in the last six months of the fiscal year. Taking advantage of our biggest opportunity to save energy during the winter months will pay dividends toward the end of the competition when there is less opportunity to improve. Be prepared for the winter temperature standards again, and remember, there are 1.5 million reasons for 'freezin'! 

The award money was spent on the following quality of life improvements for Vance AFB: 

· Tennis court repair 
· Airpark construction
· Electrical distribution on Conaway St. repair
· A diving board for the base pool
· A Wii gaming console and TV for the Club 

Keep up the good work Team Vance, and we look forward to another victory!