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How does your facility utilize its energy?

A thermal imaging camera is being used to perform energy audits.  It can identifies hot spots that are being overloaded, leaky windows or areas that are missing insulation causing hot/cold spots on the envelope of a building. (Courtesy photo)

A thermal imaging camera is being used to perform energy audits. It can identifies hot spots that are being overloaded, leaky windows or areas that are missing insulation causing hot/cold spots on the envelope of a building. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Managing base energy and resources is an important mission at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and with October designated as National Energy Awareness Month, the push is on to conserve energy, resources and costs.

Ayman Gaballa, 88th Civil Engineering base energy manager, assists organizations in keeping energy usage under control by performing regular facility energy audits.  The group is required to perform level one facility energy audits on 75 percent of the installation’s highest energy use buildings on base on a four-year cycle.

“These audits are simply an inspection of how a facility is utilizing its energy,” said Gaballa.

As technologies advance, the demand on energy is increasing rapidly while energy resources are steadily decreasing.  Therefore, to reduce its energy footprint, the federal government has published an ample amount of guidance in the Energy Policy Act 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act 2007.

“As an energy engineer, my focus is on optimizing facility energy performance,” said Gaballa.

At Wright-Patterson AFB, as well as the Air Force overall, energy availability and resiliency impacts all missions, from protecting installation facilities and infrastructure to aviation operation which protects our nation.

The base energy team conducts facility energy audits to improve the buildings energy efficiency and enhance occupancy conditions.

“Lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are the largest energy consuming functions in a typical building and improving each systems efficiency can save money on Wright-Patt’s monthly utility bill,” said Gaballa.

Large- and small scale-projects, in conjunction with plenty of planning, all contribute in achieving the base’s energy-saving goals.

“Small projects are those that can be achieved by building occupants at no or low cost, while full-scale operations and management projects are managed by Civil Engineering,” said Gaballa.  “Smaller projects are those which result in most and instantaneous savings and the `low hanging fruit’ projects such as temperature control and replacing light fixture with efficient LED type lamps.”

The Air Force has set three goals to optimize energy use and carry out future missions: Improve resiliency, optimize demand and assure supply.

“The 88 CEG has identified multiple projects which will not only save energy, by will boost energy resiliency and enhance the working environment,” said Gaballa.

Some projects include the repair of damaged roofs and installation of the appropriate R-value insulation.  According to Gaballa, this will extend building life cycles and lower the overall operational costs.

“We ask everyone on base to help us support the energy conservation goals by using energy efficient habits,” said Gaballa. “Turning off lights when not needed, report HVAC and lighting deficiencies, follow the use of personal electrical appliances and unplug anything electrical when not in use.”