Readiness and optimization: Energy Action Month proves significant at WPAFB

  • Published
  • By Brian Dietrick
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is more than just a military installation; it’s a vital hub of national defense and innovation.

To maintain mission readiness and support our mission partners, the installation actively participates in Energy Action Month each October. This annual observance highlights the base’s year-round commitment to energy security, cost savings, environmental stewardship and resilience.

Wright-Patt is one of the largest Air Force bases in the world, and with intense, on-going research, testing and support missions, energy is essential. The  88th Civil Engineering Group’s Energy Management Team is tasked with optimizing energy usage without disrupting the various missions around both areas of the installation.

“There are two sides to energy management,” said Noah Fillian, Energy Management section chief within the 88th Civil Engineer Group. “On the one side, we provide utility management and billing functions for the entire installation. The other side deals with building resiliency and energy assurance.”

From a traditional energy management perspective, the team validates and calculates utility bills and conducts energy audits and analysis. The Department of the Air Force recently pushed the importance of installation energy resilience. To meet that commitment locally, Wright-Patt conducts energy resilience readiness exercises and develops and maintains the Installation Energy Plan, which highlights all of our mission energy assurance gaps.

“Both sides provide us with the overall energy requirements, which include meter upgrades, conservation and optimization improvements and resilience projects,” Fillian said.

With a theme of “Powering Possibility,” this year’s campaign reflects the Air Force’s forward-looking approach to energy innovation and powering the future force.

The seven-person Energy Management Team has numerous projects in the queue to optimize energy efficiency and create new relationships with community partners. It plans to upgrade its advanced meter system to bring more than 800 meters online and partner with the University of Dayton to incorporate educational energy capstone projects into their curriculum.

“The efficiency and optimization that we're pushing for allows us to have more headroom on our infrastructure,” said Patric Shoup, 88 CEG electrical engineer. “Let's take electricity, for example. If you optimize your building HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, then the lines that come to the building aren’t as loaded. You might have the capacity to put in more computers or people because you're not using as much electricity.”

The Energy Management Team would welcome any assistance from the installation mission partners with assisting in energy optimization. While the 88 CEG owns the buildings, they do not own the missions taking place inside them. If you are noticing gaps in energy assurance, have your building manager reach out to the Energy Management Team.

“Energy Action Month is really understanding how we use energy,” said Jessie Northridge, 88 CEG energy manager. “If we understand that, then we can see if we're using too much energy in certain areas. As a mission-driven installation, we will do whatever we need to in order to get the job done, but we’re always looking to do it better from an energy standpoint.”

Energy Action Month holds significant importance at Wright-Patt, encompassing national security, cost-savings, environmental stewardship, resilience, innovation, community engagement, regulatory compliance and leadership.

The month reinforces the base’s dedication to responsible energy management and sustainability, ultimately enhancing its ability to fulfill its mission effectively and efficiently. As the installation continues to evolve and innovate, its commitment to energy excellence remains unwavering, ensuring its readiness to face any challenge that comes its way.

“Even though Energy Action Month is in October, we focus on conservation, resilience and mission assurance year-round,” Fillian said. “Everyone can do their part to minimize the impact of our energy consumption, "Make sure you're managing simple things like your lights or equipment that you can turn off, just like you would do at home. With more than 30,000 people on Wright-Patt, every little bit helps.”