News: Kadena goes 'green' to stay green
Story by Tech. Sgt. Kenya Shiloh
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Those responsible for Kadena's 2009 Federal Energy and Water Management Award refuse to rest on their considerable laurels. On the contrary, the 718th Civil Engineer Squadron is continuing and advancing its efforts to meet the three percent reduction in energy use mandated across the command by Pacific Air Forces for fiscal year 2010.
"Kadena recently completed a lighting efficiency project that converted antiquated, high-intensity discharge lighting fixtures to high-output fluorescent fixtures in 35 flightline facilities, five hangars and the Risner gym," said Mr. Jon Muckey, a 718th CES resource energy manager well-known to Kadena Airmen as "The Energy Guy."
According to Muckey, these projects reduced Kadena's annual electrical utility cost by $750,000. In addition to this, CE recently awarded an extensive lighting project which will convert the current HID lighting fixtures to fluorescent ones in six warehouses over the course of the coming year. This project is expected to contribute more than $380,000 to the annual energy savings. When this project is completed, Kadena's annual electricity bill is projected to be $1.2 million less than it was in 2007.
Reduced energy consumption and the saved monies that come with it aren't the only effects of these projects. The new light fixtures installed in the aircraft hangars and the Risner gym have reduced these facilities' energy consumption by 50 percent. They've also vastly improved illumination in these cavernous facilities, thereby improving Airmen's safety and quality of life. Spot measurements taken after the lighting was replaced in Building 3367 revealed a 600 percent increase in the level of illumination.
"I did not realize how dimly lit the building was until the new lights were installed," said Master Sgt. Joseph Keating, 18th Component Maintenance Squadron propulsion support element chief. "The new lighting has doubled the amount of illumination we have in building 3367. It also enhances our ability to inspect F100 and TF34 engines and improves our mission of providing safe and defect-free engines to our customers here and at the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base, Korea."
Kadena Airmen and their families can expect to see these same sorts of improvements, amongst others, in facilities over the coming years as CE plans to incorporate these high-output, energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures into all future "whole-building" renovation projects, to include newly-built base housing. The "whole-building" concept incorporates lighting, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, water conservation and renewable energy components.
Small changes like these that reap big gains not only affect people on base, but also positively impact the local community. Muckey believes that by reducing Kadena's electrical demand, it will in turn reduce the demand on Okinawa's electric power generators.
"The generators will make more electricity available for other customers," Muckey said. "Because Okinawa Electric Power uses coal-operated power plants for about 78 percent of electrical production, reductions in Kadena's electrical consumption help reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas production and acid rain."
Muckey encourages everyone to do their part to help reduce Kadena's footprint on the environment.
"Everyone can make a difference to save the world one kilowatt-hour at a time," he said. "As with most things in life, if you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem. Being aware of how much energy we use is the key that helps us become part of the solution."