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Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta (left), 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, signed a proclamation that designates 2014 as an Energy Action Year in JBSA during a ceremony Feb. 6 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. Representing the JBSA energy team at the signing were Ruben Ramos (second from left), JBSA-Randolph energy manager; Andy Hinojosa, JBSA-Lackland energy manager; Ray, the JBSA energy mascot; James Wimberley, JBSA chief of portfolio optimization; and Lauriebeth Smith, JBSA energy manager section chief. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Olivia Mendoza/Released)
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502nd ABW kicks off JBSA energy campaign

Posted 2/13/2014   Updated 2/13/2014 Email story   Print story


by Mike Joseph
JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

2/13/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The 502nd Air Base Wing launched an energy campaign designating 2014 as an Energy Action Year throughout Joint Base San Antonio during a ceremony Feb. 6 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, 502nd ABW and JBSA commander, signed a proclamation focusing an energy campaign throughout JBSA on reducing consumption and creating efficiencies.

"I call this a 'campaign' for a reason," LaBrutta said. "It's going to take all of us in Joint Base San Antonio - every single person is going to be part of this energy campaign.

"Everybody can participate whether it's turning on/off lights in their facilities and the peripherals or getting involved in one of these great energy programs we've got coming," he said.

LaBrutta called the JBSA energy action campaign one of his top priorities for 2014. He said that in a resource-constrained environment there is a responsibility to maximize available resources.

"We also have an obligation to the American taxpayer to be as efficient as we possibly can with our installations and that includes energy," he said. "I also know the benefits we can gain from this campaign are in real dollars - they come back into our coffers."

LaBrutta was 72nd Air Base Wing commander at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., from June 2010 to January 2012 when a similar energy awareness campaign was kicked off.

Later in 2012, Tinker signed an $80.6 million energy efficiency project with Honeywell to improve operations and cut utility costs. The retrofit project is expected to generate more than $170 million in savings over 20 years, which is also guaranteed by Honeywell through an energy savings performance contract.

"Tinker was able to save $2 million in utilities costs last year," he said.

Efforts to increase energy awareness at JBSA began last May when LaBrutta took over command.

LaBrutta requested some changes be implemented at the 502nd ABW headquarters building on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston in June 2013 to help reduce its energy consumption. Those changes included raising set points to meet energy policy on average, taking advantage of daylight, reducing hallway interior lighting to safety levels, turning off lights and equipment during off duty hours, and reducing exterior lighting.

Those small changes brought significant savings even though summer months were hotter and winter months were colder in 2013 compared to 2012.

The normalized energy savings for electric and gas were $840 a month or $5,880 total, when consumption was compared from June-December 2013 to June-December 2012.

"If everybody gets on board doing that, just think how many dollars we can save in utility costs a year," LaBrutta said.

The campaign identified six strategic energy goals for implementation across JBSA. The goals are based on executive order mandates, applicable law provisions and Air Education and Training Command directives.

Executive Order 13423 was issued in 2007 to strengthen energy conservation and improve efficiency across all federal agencies, and an extension and expansion of that order (Executive Order 13514) was signed in 2009. The Air Force then tasked all commands to follow the '20/20 by 2020' initiative, which requires a reduction in facility footprint by 20 percent, and utility and sustainment costs by 20 percent by 2020.

According to Ruben Ramos, JBSA-Randolph energy manager and a member of the joint base energy team, the JBSA strategic energy goals provide a framework of objectives and priorities that can be used to develop unit specific initiatives representing the tactical elements of the program.

JBSA's six strategic energy goals:
  • Increase Energy and Water Conservation Awareness: The success of the JBSA water and energy conservation program is absolutely dependent on eliciting the support of the entire joint base populace. This can only be realized by creating a culture where energy conservation is "a consistent and serious consideration in everything we do."
  • Incorporate Energy and Water Conservation in Operations, Maintenance and Design: Every unit has a part in achieving this goal. The following are items to be considered in developing units' specific energy and water conservation programs - maintain proper climate control per JBSA energy policy, implement adequate facility lighting controls, implement workplace policies that support JBSA energy conservation efforts, and find ways to "slow the spin" on the meter.
  • Reduce Water Consumption Intensity: The JBSA populace can help by promptly reporting any water drips or leaks to the 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron, facility maintenance. During any renovations, the 502nd CES will ensure low-flow faucets and toilets have been installed.
  • Install Facility Metering: As per the saying, "we can't manage what we can't measure," the 502nd CES must play a key role in realizing this objective in an orderly fashion. In particular, the 502nd CES must assess JBSA facilities and develop a carefully prioritized schedule for meter installation based on facility energy consumption and the potential for near-term facility demolition or major refurbishment.
  • Implement Renewable Energy Options: JBSA continues to actively investigate potential renewable energy production means. Technologies at this point in time are not favorable for implementation of on-site generation due to economic feasibility imitations. It is both fortunate and limiting to be the recipients of relatively low electrical rates. The average rate of electricity per kilowatt hour is in the range of $0.073. However, partnerships and new technology is rapidly changing and helping JBSA to add renewable energy to its site.
  • Conduct Facility Audits: Facility managers can greatly support JBSA on this strategic goal by completing their annual audit checklist and returning it to one of the JBSA energy managers.
"What we're going to do is use our partnership with the City of San Antonio, in particular our great partnership with CPS Energy, to help us achieve some of this," LaBrutta said.

"We can make big, big gains on the energy front if we all contribute and participate."

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