Spangdahlem heats up

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- As winter approaches, heating season is upon us. Conveniently, as we lead into heating season, October is Energy Action Month.

The Air Force's theme for Energy Action Month is, "I am Air Force Energy," and it is the strategic intent of the Secretary of the Air Force to cultivate an energy-conscious force.

Energy is a critical component of all Air Force operations and everyone in the Air Force plays a key role in achieving our energy goals. Especially in a fiscally constrained environment, it is important to make energy conservation a consideration in all we do!

Last fiscal year, U.S. Air Forces Europe spent $401 million on energy, with $135 million directly related to facility energy costs. At Spangdahlem, we spend almost $22,000 every single day heating the base.

However, thanks to the combined efforts of everyone here, we have reduced our daily heating costs 2.1 percent from fiscal year 2012, saving nearly $167,000 in total heat costs in one year. To make the amount saved even more impressive, last year Germany experienced one of the coldest winters in decades and the coldest spring in more than 40 years leading to an average local increase in heating costs of 18 percent.

To continue this positive trend, there are many small changes we all can make in our daily routines to save energy.

For example, bring a sweater or wear a warm layer of clothing during the colder winter months. Just by reducing the temperature in your workspace by 1 degree Celsius or about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, the Air Force can save six percent on heating costs. This could equate to nearly $500,000 in savings if implemented throughout the base.

Huge savings could be made if all work centers lowered their temperatures by 5 degrees Celsius or about 9 degrees Fahrenheit for the evenings, weekends and holidays. This can be accomplished up to two hours before leaving without noticing a large difference in comfort level.

Throughout this month, you may see events taking place on base such as a 5-K run, youth poster contest and an informational booth at the Base Exchange.

Just remember to make energy conservation a priority in everything you do. Remember: YOU are Air Force Energy!