Energy---Trick or Treat

  • Published
  • By Christopher Hood
  • 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron
Halloween marks the end of Energy Awareness Month with the theme of "Energy Solutions...Fueling the Mission." As exterior lights burn bright with costumed crews haunting the night, check the bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs. This simple action represents a small step in conservation and reduction in demand. Adjusting thermostats and water heater temperatures are two additional ways that conservation can reduce demand. 

During Energy Awareness Month, three events have fueled the Hurlburt Field community energy awareness. 

On Oct. 15, Gulf Power sponsored an event at the Base Exchange highlighting energy and innovations. The demonstrations started outside the BX with the all-electric Tesla Roadster and a Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The Tesla Roadster goes 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and uses no gasoline while the Ford Escape can get more than 60 miles per gallon of gasoline. 

Inside the BX, representatives of Gulf Power discussed home energy audits and the advantages of geothermal heat pumps. Conservation is critical to saving energy and actions to reduce demand were highlighted. A working model of a geothermal heat pump was set up inside of the BX for people to become familiar with the system's operation. Geothermal heat pumps eliminate the need for an exterior unit and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption by up to 44% compared to air-source heat pumps. 

On Oct. 21, a second event was held at the Warehouse Bistro. This event included multiple vendor exhibits as well as lunchtime briefings on green building, plasma waste to energy project, and an overview of the AF energy program. Twenty-three vendors provided information on solar applications, van pools, consulting services and green construction. 

After the lunchtime presentations, a raffle was held with individuals committing to "Make Energy a Consideration in All That I Do." Ms. Shirley Schlafman was the grand prize winner of a weekend at the Emerald Grand in Destin. In addition, she committed to reduce personal fuel consumption. Other winners were Joe Klipstein, 6th Special Operations Squadron, Airman 1st Class Gregory Smartt, 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, Mr. Bill Schaetzle, Air Force Special Operation Command Plans Directorate, and Randy Walker, 505th Command and Control Wing. The event was a success with more than 120 people attending the exhibits and presentations. 

Energy Day observation events concluded on Oct. 27. Each base organization and tenant received briefings on AF Energy programs and initiatives. Through increased awareness, we are looking toward "Energy Solutions...Fueling the Mission." 

Regardless of whether or not it is the month to recognize it, it is up to each individual to make energy a consideration in all that we do...the ultimate trick or treat.