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Home : News : News
NEWS | Sept. 22, 2011

Randolph looking for champions in energy contest

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B Public Affairs

Randolph will soon launch a six-month competition that will result in three winners, but will ultimately benefit the entire installation.

Concurrent with Energy Awareness Month in October, the base will conduct its first "Energy Conservation Awareness Competition," a campaign that will encourage base personnel and residents to do their part to reduce their energy consumption and make those efforts a way of life.

Ruben Ramos, 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron utilities manager, said the competition, which will run from Oct. 1 to March 30, is consistent with the 502nd Air Base Wing's energy policy.

"Making people aware of energy conservation is one of the things they encourage," he said. "The first month of the competition is Energy Awareness Month, so we will have several events that will show people how they can save energy."

Bruce Dschuden, 902nd CES resource efficiency manager, said awareness is important because it is "self-perpetuating."

"Once people start thinking about it, they just do it," he said.

The competition will involve 10 organization teams: 902nd Mission Support Group; 902nd Force Support Squadron; 12th Flying Training Wing; Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Recruiting Service and 19th Air Force; Air Force Personnel Center; Army and Air Force Exchange Service; 359th Medical Group; 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; Defense Commissary Agency; and Housing.

Ramos said each organization will appoint a leadership "champion" who will promote conservation in the unit's facilities. Energy champion contact information must be provided to by Oct. 1.

The three award categories are Energy Intensity Reduction, for the team with the greatest reduction of energy intensity; the "Biggest Loser," for the organization that reduces energy consumption the most; and Individual Energy Initiatives, for one person who strives to reduce energy.

"The Biggest Loser category applies to teams that have large energy use and large square footage," Ramos said.

He said organizations whose facilities use less energy are more likely to excel in the Energy Intensity Reduction category.

People competing in the individual category will be nominated by their organization. Their efforts will be reviewed and ranked on initiative and percent reduction of energy usage.

"We want categories everybody can compete in to foster a spirit of competition," Dschuden said.

Teams will be able to track their progress in the competition at the end of each month, when facility managers, energy champions and commanders receive a mock utility bill showing them how they are doing compared to other competitors.

Awards will be presented at the base's energy management steering group meeting for the fiscal 2012 third quarter.

The energy reduction competition will be publicized throughout Energy Awareness Month, when several activities are planned. Pamphlets and fliers will be distributed at the Main Gate, at the base exchange and at Randolph Elementary School. The energy conservation mascot, "Sunny Greenwatts," will take part in activities, including the base energy fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at the BX.

Ramos said there are a number of simple ways people can save energy. They include turning off lights, fans and coffee pots when they're not in use and shutting off the computer monitor at the end of the day.

Adhering to the energy policy's 10-hour comfort window, 76 to 78 degrees during the cooling season and 68 to 70 degrees during the heating season, will also contribute to energy savings. At the end of that comfort window, temperatures can be adjusted up or down, depending on the season.

"During those 10 hours, 90 to 95 percent of the people who work at that facility are in the building," Ramos said.

Dschuden said he believes the competition can lead to a 10 percent reduction in energy use throughout the base, but as the campaign progresses from year to year, it will be more of a challenge to reduce energy.

"When people are consistent doing the simple things, reducing energy use will be more difficult," he said. "But they will come up with interesting ways to save energy. We're excited to see what people come up with."