Misawa takes on energy challenge
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Unlike the traditional "Biggest Loser" challenge on NBC, Misawa's biggest loser competition is not focused on one person losing the most weight. Instead, teams are focused on losing something a little different -- energy.
Last year, the base spent about $38 million on utilities. The idea of this competition is to encourage behavioral changes in people and hopefully reduce a building's annual energy bill by 10 to 15 percent. This short-term friendly competition puts buildings against each other to see who can reduce the most energy usage between Jan. 1 and March 31.
These competitions will be held quarterly between five facilities similar in size from each of the groups within the 35th Fighter Wing and a Navy facility. Two weeks prior to their competition, the teams will be notified of their participation and be given energy reduction training by the base energy team.
"With money being an issue throughout the Department of Defense, every little bit we can do to save money throughout the Air Force we should do," said Staff Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb, 35th Fighter Wing facility manager. "It is my job as facility manager to go throughout my facility and remind everyone to turn off the heat in their offices prior to leaving for the day. I also encourage everyone to turn off lights and unplug appliances not being used."
This quarter, which runs until the end of March, the buildings competing are buildings 507, 506, 918, 3263, and Navy Headquarters. The meters have been installed and random walkthrough inspections have already occurred, so if you work in these buildings, be on the lookout for ways to save energy - it might earn you some recognition.
According to Cari Schroeder, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, the personnel within winning facilities will receive an award and recognition, as well as entered into the two annual recognition awards being presented at the end of each year for overall group and overall facility winners.
Schroeder said teams are off to a good start, but surprise walkthroughs might put teams behind.
"I have completed one surprise building walkthrough of each facility, and while most did a good job, there were still some unoccupied offices with lights on and doors left open allowing heat to escape," said Schroeder. "Funding for large, expensive energy projects is very limited, so we are hoping to achieve energy savings using "no-cost" methods."