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News > Malmstrom focuses on conserving energy, resources
Malmstrom focuses on conserving energy, resources

Posted 10/25/2013   Updated 10/25/2013 Email story   Print story


by 341st Civil Engineer Squadron

10/25/2013 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- More restrictive budget constraints have prompted an increased focus on energy conservation at Malmstrom Air Force Base.
In prior years, Malmstrom's utility bills were fully funded by higher headquarters. In fiscal year 2014, the 341st Missile Wing will receive a significantly reduced utility budget.

"This utility budget constraint will directly impact the 341st Missile Wing," said 2nd Lt. Samantha Luch, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager. "Our overall budget has steadily decreased over time. With this new budget cut, we will have to redirect resources away from our operations and maintenance requirements to ensure we have enough funds to cover our energy needs."

Every effort to save energy can make a difference, especially when the annual bill is $9.2 billion.

"In fiscal [year] 2012, the Air Force saved more than $1.5 billion with smarter buildings, new technologies and more efficient flight operations," said Eric Fanning, acting secretary of the Air Force.

"Every gallon of fuel and watt of electricity we save allows us to have more resources to meet other Air Force priorities," said Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.

The 341st MW is beginning new projects to better utilize its resources. Current projects include:

· An Energy Management Control System, which would allow remote control of heating and cooling in buildings to ensure unoccupied spaces are not being heated or cooled

· Installation of meters on all facilities, which will allow planners to observe the real effects of conservation measures

· A heat plant upgrade, which would allow use of more natural gas vice coal, saving money and allowing more flexibility to change the output of the plant to meet the actual heating requirements

Additionally, Malmstrom will scrutinize its utility consumption and rates to ensure it remains a good steward of taxpayer dollars. Agencies will scrub existing utility bills and contracts to ensure that consumption is appropriate to our needs and that the 341st MW is paying fair and reasonable utility rates, both on base and throughout the missile complex.

"We must do what we can to reduce our energy consumption costs. We owe it to American taxpayers and to our local community," Luch said.

Airmen are encouraged to take ACTION.
  • Appliance reduction: Look around each workspace; how many personal appliances can be removed or consolidated in common areas like break rooms?
  • Computer log off: Personnel at many installations are advised not to turn off computers at the end of the day, but it is important to log off. This ensures that computers will enter energy-saving sleep mode. Before pulling out an ID card and going home for the day, remember to log off. The Air Force Information Technology Power Management Team at Maxwell, Air Force Base, Ala., estimates this action alone could save more than $10 million a year.
  • Temperature control: Most bases have set-point policies and use settings of 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. Rather than increasing energy demand with space heaters or fans, dress appropriately for the temperature in your facility.
  • Inform facility managers: Report incorrect temperature set points, leaky faucets, blocked air vents, cracked windows and other problems to the facility manager or civil engineer customer service.
  • Outdoor conservation: Airmen who notice a broken sprinkler wasting water or area lights left on in a parking lot during the day should report it to their local civil engineer customer service.
  • No waste: If anyone sees something that doesn't need to be on, turn it off; if there is a problem, report it.
Every Airman, civilian and contractor is encouraged to take energy awareness training on the Air Force Civil Engineering Center Advanced Distance Learning System at

For more information, contact Luch at 731-6150 or Kent Seaton at 731-4664.

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