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CPS Energy rewards JBSA-Randolph

By Robert Goetz | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Dec. 7, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Participation in a CPS Energy conservation program has again provided Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph with a five-figure credit on its utility bill.

Yvonne Haecker, the utility company's energy solutions manager, presented a mock check reflecting a $23,048 credit to Col. Christine Erlewine, 902nd Mission Support Group commander, during a presentation Nov. 20 at Randolph.

Ruben Ramos Jr., 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager, said the credit reflects Randolph's continued success in CPS Energy's Demand Response Program, a voluntary load curtailment program for commercial and industrial customers designed to reduce the utility's peak load on summer days. The program is part of CPSE's strategy to save 771 megawatts by 2020.

"This was the third summer we've participated in the program," he said. "For us, it's money we can use at Randolph for energy conservation projects without affecting the comfort of people."

Ramos said the installation commits to reduce its electrical load by 300 kilowatts each day the utility makes a request, typically on weekdays between 3 and 6 p.m. He said the reduction normally occurs after most people at Randolph have ended their working day.

"It happens after peak time, when people are starting to leave for the day, so it doesn't affect them," he said.

Ramos said Randolph reduced its load 17 times this summer, compared with 23 during the summer of 2011, one of the hottest on record. The demand response season begins June 1 and ends Sept. 30.

He said participation in the program helps CPSE by keeping rates low and delaying the construction of new, expensive power plants and benefits Randolph by providing financial incentives and reducing its utility bill.

"Peak demand load accounts for 35 percent of our electrical bill," Ramos said, "so any time we reduce our peak demand load, we significantly reduce our utility bill."

Randolph also benefits by its participation in CPSE's rebate program.

Earlier this year, CPSE presented Randolph representatives with a $49,119 rebate for a $320,000 project to replace high-bay low-efficiency lighting in 11 hangars with fluorescent light fixtures, which is estimated to save the installation $30,000 per year.

Ongoing projects include the replacement of inefficient lighting in Randolph's office buildings and a chilled-water loop - a system of centralized water chillers, thermal energy storage units and piping that is designed to meet the air-conditioning needs of the installation's commercial sector while reducing energy costs.