Do your part: saving energy from bottom to top

by Airman 1st Class Dymekre Allen
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


A new cost-saving initiative is being put in place to reduce the amount of energy and water that’s used on Ramstein.

“We can’t rely on the same level of funds being available in the future for repair and maintenance,” said Amanda Mehrtens, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron. “We need to take a proactive stance so that at home, work or anywhere in between we are vigilant in helping one another remember this as part of our mission success.”

By conserving base resources it minimizes utility cost and bills where possible.
In a fiscally and ecologically constrained environment, it is ideal that resources are preserved in order to cut spending and increase sustainability to accomplish the mission on the larger scale, Mehrtens said.

“It means responsible use of the facilities (and resources) the Air Force provides us,” Mehrtens said.

The Ramstein Air Base Save Our Resources team, along with the reception center and Airmen dorm leaders, have already begun to utilize methods of saving resources around base to maintain Ramstein’s energy and water in a cost efficient manner.

“Our…renovated dormitories utilize an interior, motion-sensor system identical to the exterior lighting system,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Williams, 86th CES Airmen dorm leader. “The lights only burn when necessary or when motion is detected to save as much energy as possible.”

Last summer, the medical dormitory had solar panels installed on the roof of their buildings, making Ramstein more energy efficient at a reduced cost for the Air Force. This fiscal year, SORT and a collection of organizations will look to expand on similar, but more efficient, ways of saving resources.

“It’s about base pride — this is your base, help take care of it,” Mehrtens said. “It’s imperative that we come up with no-cost ways of keeping our expenses and repair costs down.”

Improving energy stability Air Force-wide is a priority starting from the youngest Airman in the dorms all the way to commanders.

There are multiple opportunities to save energy and many tips and tricks that can be used to decrease spending costs.

SORT has provided helpful tips below to start increasing base stability to become a more environmentally conscious and cost sufficient Air Force.

• Turn off lights. Even though using fluorescent lights helps reduces energy costs, forgetting to turn them off still costs money.

• Turn down the heat. Turning the heat to “5” on European heaters is equivalent to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving windows and doors open or covering the heating unit is a sure way to waste heat.

• Turn off or unplug all electrical items. Avoid being fooled by standby mode. The red light means the power is still on and still wasting electricity. Even though plugged in items may be turned off, it is possible for them to still absorb electricity unless unplugged.

• Turn off water. When you wash your hands and brush your teeth, don’t allow the water to run freely if it’s not being used. European toilets use a stop lever to discontinue the water flow. Use it and save a substantial amount of water.