Incirlik Energy Action Month

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce
  • 39 Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Nationwide, October is recognized as Energy Awareness Month. The 39th Air Base Wing is taking extra efforts in conservation and also recognizing May as Incirlik AB Energy Action Month prior to the warmer months in Turkey.

Reduction of energy and water consumption throughout the Department of Defense was officially mandated by U.S. Federal Law. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 states that energy consumption must be reduced 30 percent by 2015. A reduction of water consumption of 26 percent by 2020 was mandated under Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.

"Federal conservation goals are mandated across the U.S. Air Forces in Europe," said Artemiz Avci, 39th Civil Engineer Squadron maintenance engineering and planning chief and base energy manager. "The base is responsible for meeting the federal goals for both water and energy. It's a long way, but we need to save 3 percent for energy and 2 percent for water each year regardless of what happens at the end of previous fiscal year."

So far at the end of the second quarter for fiscal year 2014 Incirlik has saved 1.5 million kilowatt-hours. To reach the goal at the end of FY14 we need to save an additional one million kwh and 10 million gallons of water, explained Avci.

"Despite all available forms of energy, it is important to conserve what we can because resources globally are running out," said Avci. "We want to make water and energy savings a habit for everybody. It's hard to change the culture, but it is necessary."

Several energy saving projects have been ongoing throughout the base such as a solar water heating systems, changing more than 6,000 incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, and replacing deteriorated water lines.

Although it cost money to make these changes, the future savings in money and energy outweighs that cost.

"When the wing invests money into the energy projects, savings out of those projects are required. The investment has to pay back in 10 years max," said Pinor Oneren, 39th CES mechanical engineer. "In other words, if $100,000 is spent on a project, a minimum savings of $10,000 or more is needed to meet the payback requirement.

"After an investment pays back what was spent, the upgrades start saving money," said Oneren. "So far, various projects throughout the wing have paid back within three to five years."
While major engineering projects are set to save money, water and energy, there are simple things every Incirlik AB resident can do to help conserve. Here are some small tips that can save big over time:

· Do not water lawns between 10 p.m. and 3 p.m.

· Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.

· Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. This saves up to 100 gallons every time.

· Run clothes washers and dishwashers only when they are full. This can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.

· Wash fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.

· Teach children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.

· Taking shorter showers and reducing by one or two minutes will save up to 150 gallons per month.

· Turn off the water while brushing teeth and save 25 gallons a month.

· Report water leaks, a dripping faucet can waste hundreds of gallons each month.

· If a home is too warm, reduce the temperature on the thermostat instead of opening your window.

· Close curtains at dusk to keep heat in and open them in the morning to warm the room naturally.

· Always turn the lights off when leaving a room.

· Do not leave appliances on standby or leave laptops or phones on a charger unnecessarily.

· Fill up the washing machine; one full load uses less energy than two half loads.

· Keep the oven door shut; every time it is opened it loses heat.

· Do not keep patio lights on when it is not needed.

"Everyone needs to start thinking about the future and how saving energy now will help our children in years to come," said Avci. "It's your basic habits. It's really not something that you would see any sort of immediate benefit from, but the small habit changes of your lifestyle can make a big difference."