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Keesler recognized for energy conservation accomplishments

  • Published
  • By Susan Griggs
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
For the first time ever, Keesler placed in the top three bases in Air Education and Training Command for its energy conservation accomplishments.

The base registered a 9.5 percent reduction in energy and water conservation in the third quarter of 2014, which moved it into third place in AETC, said Billy Stevenson, operations engineering manager for thebase operating support contractor.  The accomplishment garnered Keesler $100,000 to be added to its operational funding.

Keesler has a different set of challenges than some other AETC installations, Stevenson pointed out.  

"Bases with a larger flying mission have an advantage over us in the form of non-conditioned hangers," Stevenson explained.  "Nearly all of Keesler's structures are climate-controlled."

Mother Nature was a big factor in Keesler's energy conservation success in the competition.

"The weather was a major player," Stevenson noted.  "We had relatively mild weather patterns in the third quarter.  Weather is our biggest factor in total energy usage."

He also noted that Keesler's ongoing demolition projects will be a limiting factor for the base in AETC's energy incentive programs in the future.

"Demolition of several structures will reduce our future footprint," Stevenson pointed out.  "The Air Force energy reduction goals are based upon reducing energy usage per square foot of facilities. We are moving more people and equipment into a smaller footprint, which increases the energy intensity of the facility."

Stevenson is convinced that Keesler can lead the pack in energy reduction within the command. He expects Elmo Smith, the base's new full-time energy manager, to keep the conservation efforts headed in the right direction.  Smith formerly served as resource efficiency manager at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

"Energy is a monster that has to be grappled with," Stevenson insisted.  "We look forward to future challenges and expect to accomplish great things."