Energy awareness focus of command conference

by Tech. Sgt. Francesca Popp
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs

Professionals from around the command gathered in Ramstein Dec. 14 to 16 for the first U.S. Air Forces in Europe Energy Facility Conference.

The conference was designed to improve the USAFE Energy Management Program effectiveness through enhanced program management and collaboration.

Todd Grimes, USAFE chief of civil engineering operations, said he wanted the participants to better understand why they should care.

“It’s your tax dollars,” Mr. Grimes said. “Everything a person does when it comes to saving energy can help your base and the command avoid any

additional or unnecessary energy costs.”

The conference provided an opportunity for installation asset optimization flight chiefs, base energy managers and resource efficiency managers to share ideas and to help shape their energy programs. Representatives from each base had the opportunity to brief their energy programs, specifically highlight their successful initiatives, and report where additional support may be needed.

“We have some very successful base energy management programs across the command,” said Steve Hardy, resource efficiency manager with USAFE civil engineering operations. “The cross flow of information allowed installation (representatives) with limited experience in the energy arena to see how to implement better practices and improve focus.”

As ideas flowed back and forth between attendees, a common topic

discussed was the need for a cultural change when it comes to energy


Col. Scott Jarvis, USAFE Logistics, Installations and Mission Support Programs Division chief, talked about the escalating costs of energy in the past several years and limited funds availability for defense for the foreseeable future.

“If we don’t do something, we are going off a cliff,” he said.

People across the command can help identify and minimize excess energy costs and still accomplish the mission. Mr. Hardy said excess is found in lighting, in over cooling or heating facilities, and even operating inefficient equipment.

“There is energy overhead in every organization and in every process,” Mr. Hardy said. “This overhead is wasted energy in excess of the minimum required to complete the mission of that organization or process.”