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28th CES observes 2017 Energy Action Month

October is Energy Action Month for the federal government and is being observed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. This year’s EAM theme is “Protect the Power,” and is a call to action for Ellsworth Airmen, their families and the local community to promote energy efficiency.

October is Energy Action Month for the federal government and is being observed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. This year’s EAM theme is “Protect the Power,” and is a call to action for Ellsworth Airmen, their families and the local community to promote energy efficiency. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo illustration)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

October is the President’s 2017 Energy Action Month, a federal government-wide initiative that raises awareness about energy consumption and conservation.

This year’s EAM theme is “Protect the Power,” and is a call-to-action for Ellsworth Airmen, their families and the local community to promote energy efficiency in their lives.

“Energy Action Month is the Air Force’s way of promoting energy reduction,” said Ted Cleberg, the installation energy manager assigned to the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron. “For us, the focus is facility energy, which is only about 16 percent of the total [energy used in] the Air Force. We look at that smaller portion, which is still a lot if you look at the $4 million projects we have a year.”

According to Cleberg, the CES has replaced more than 500 security, parking lot, and street lights with LEDs. The squadron plans on converting the remaining lights in buildings and the flight line to LEDs by 2020. Cleberg estimates the savings from the LED conversion will vary from 20 to 85 percent.

“This saves us about $800,000 a year in energy,” Cleberg explained. “Renewable, sustainable energy is big for our economy going forward. Within the next two years, we will have $10 million invested in LED lights, making Ellsworth one of the first 100 percent LED bases.”

Aside from LED light replacement, the squadron will also be putting in $1 million worth of boiler upgrades which better distribute heated air through ducts. Buildings receiving these upgrades include the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadron facilities, the lodging facility, Rushmore Center and dormitories. The squadron is also replacing much of the worn insulation within the hangers.

Lykken says energy conservation is not just for the energy management shop at Ellsworth, but for anyone who wants to save the environment.

“Everyone can [conserve] at their homes, and it doesn’t just save on energy, it saves them money too,” Lykken said. “Installing programmable thermostats can save up to $150 a year on energy costs, replacing air filters in the furnace every three months as recommended, taking shorter showers and washing clothes with cold water – they all contribute to saving money on your utility bill.”

Since EAM’s inception in 2012, the Department of Defense has made October a time to recognize the role Americans play in reducing energy waste.

“Learn and practice these habits now,” Cleberg said. “If you develop these habits now, they will greatly benefit you in the future in both saving money and saving energy.”