Turn Off the Lights When You Leave the Room

The Air Force has already reduced its real energy consumption by 30 percent over the past eight years, but continues to seek ways to operate more efficiently to help bring down its staggering energy bill, said Kevin Geiss, the service’s energy czar. In Fiscal 2011 alone, the Air Force spent some $9.7 billion in total for fuel and electricity, including more than 2.5 billion gallons of aviation fuel, he said on Oct. 17 during an AFA-Air Force Breakfast Program address in Arlington, Va. That’s the equivalent of buying 12 CV-22s, 12 C-17s, 36 MQ-9 Reapers, and 25 F-22s, according to a handout that Geiss’ office distributed at the event. The final energy bill isn’t in yet for Fiscal 2012, but “we are pretty sure that it is going to be larger,” noted Geiss. Curbing the service’s energy consumption by just 10 percent would result in a billion dollars of savings, said Geiss. That’s much-needed funding that the Air Force could apply for other purposes. Toward that end, the Air Force is promoting ways to reduce demand, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and limit exposure to disruptions in supply, he said. Underpinning this all is the push to instill “an energy-aware culture” in all airmen, said Geiss.