The largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the United States is located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The array is made up of about 70,000 panels spread over more than 140 acres. When completed, the solar arrays will produce 15 megawatts of power. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jack Braden)
A worker wrenches a panel to the support structure of a home at Holloman AFB, N.M., August 9th. Homes will be selected based on the amount of sun they receive, the condition of the roof and location of surrounding trees. The installation will potentially reduce the cost per kilowatt hour of energy by almost half. Compared to fossil fuels which release greenhouses gases, carcinogens and carbon dioxide; solar cells don't release any harsh chemicals into the air. (Courtesy Photo)
by 2nd Lt. Christopher Twigg
49th Civil Engineer Squadron
10/2/2013 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- October kicks off the Energy Awareness Month with the theme of I am Air Force Energy, recognizing the contribution needed by each Airman to help achieve the Air Force's energy goals. Holloman Air Force Base continues to make energy conscious decisions based off of the Air Force Energy Strategy, which was founded on the four pillars of: reducing demand, increasing supply, improving resiliency and fostering an energy aware culture. October, being energy awareness month, creates the perfect opportunity for every person to play their part to ensure actions are taken with energy conservation in mind.
A few simple tips to reduce the amount of energy used include: unplugging electronics after use, turning off monitors at the end of the day, taking showers instead of baths, carpooling whenever possible and washing/drying full loads of laundry. Though simple, each of these tasks can save thousands of dollars monthly.
For every degree dropped by the thermostat, the monthly electricity bill increases by an average of 3 percent. This fact shows the importance of making every decision an energy conscious one. Each person has a role in energy conservation, so thrive to contribute your share this month.
Holloman contributes our fair share to the energy conservation goals of the Air Force through programs such as piloting wireless-meter upgrades which saves 1.5 thousand hours a year, executing a future solar panel array project and utilizing "green construction" by designing buildings that are LEED silver certified or better. Each of these projects contributes to the energy saving goals of reducing utility costs and water usage by 2 percent annually and reducing energy consumption by 3 percent.
October is by no means the only time of the year to make energy conscious decisions, but it is a great opportunity to play your part in saving energy. By keeping the energy theme of I am Air Force Energy in mind, realize the importance that every energy-saving idea plays for the bigger picture. Even if it's as simple as turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth, every action counts! Enjoy Energy Awareness Month, and feel free to submit any energy saving ideas to your 49th Civil Engineer Squadron.