The Air Force Civil Engineer Center has discovered more than $22 million in potential savings for the Air Force, having completed an 8-year study of utility rates for almost 70 USAF bases in the continental United States. The research comes from the AFCEC Energy Directorate’s utility rate management team, which worked in tandem with consultants at Exeter Associates, according to a release. The URMT started showing up at Air Force installations in 2007 to examine electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater invoices and contracts, looking for potential savings, and finding a non-linear set of results. “We found savings in multiple ways,” said Nancy Coleal, the URMT chief. “Sometimes it was a billing error, sometimes a simple rate change. Every situation was unique; we really had to examine each base case-by-case.” Since these contracts and rate structures are “designed differently” in each state—and sometimes are different within states—the team had to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in each place, said Dan Gerdes, AFCEC’s rates and renewable division chief. Coleal wants the take-away for utility managers across the country to be that “URMT is here to help—we have your back,” and that managers should always know they can ask URMT for advice on ongoing contracts or rates.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.