Misawa Air Base saves money, fuel during sequestration
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Civil Engineer Squadron shut off the steam lines that heat the industrial buildings seven days early as an incentive to potentially save the base over $330,000, April 24, 2013.
In the past two years industrial heat was shut off on May 1, but because average temperatures have been warmer this year, the decision was put into effect to save money and fuel.
"With sequestration we've been trying to save money and energy on base with a lower budget," said Cari Schroeder, 35 CES resource efficiency manager. "We will potentially save 91,000 gallons of fuel used to heat the buildings and about $333,970 just by shutting it off a week early. It's also a good start to avoid any drastic measures we may have to take in the future."
After Schroeder explained how important saving money and resources is to the base she continued to explain the many obstacles the base faced in 2012.
"Last year the fuel prices went up, and we had a colder than normal winter along with the yen rate working against us, which made it cost $7 million more than previous years," said Schroeder. "This is just one way to help avoid a deficit with our utility bill budget."
CES has a number of energy conservation projects in the works waiting approval from Pacific Air Forces. Some projects including various energy efficiency improvements in buildings such as installing efficient lighting and motion sensors, insulating and sealing building exteriors to prevent heating and cooling losses, and replacing sinks and showerheads with low-flow models to reduce water usage.
Although the heat will be shut off early as part of energy conservation, Schroeder hopes this process will not disturb the base community.
"Despite all the statistics we base our decisions on you can't predict the weather accurately," said Schroeder. "We could potentially get a cold spell out of the blue. We just hope that everyone has patience and understands we're doing this to help the base out.
Our goal for energy conservation on base is to conserve as much as possible without disturbing the base resident's day-to-day life."