Energy Awareness: Foundation for cultural, behavioral change

National Energy Awareness Month is celebrated in October. This year's theme is "A Sustainable Energy Future; Putting All the Pieces Together."

National Energy Awareness Month is celebrated in October. This year's theme is "A Sustainable Energy Future; Putting All the Pieces Together."

Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Serio, 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of fuels laboratory, purchases some 18-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs at the base self help shop. The shop carries a variety of energy saving items in stock. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Serio, 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of fuels laboratory, purchases some 18-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs at the base self help shop. The shop carries a variety of energy saving items in stock. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- This month we celebrate National Energy Awareness Month. This year's theme, "A Sustainable Energy Future; Putting All the Pieces Together", encourages everyone to see themselves as a piece of the puzzle fitting into the big picture. 

No matter how big the problem may appear, the fact remains that each of us is a part of the solution. 

Energy has become a worldwide political, strategic and critical issue. A wise use, effective saving and conservation actions are among the basic everyday key factors for success that everyone can do. 

In order to run the 31st Fighter Wing mission for the years ahead, without reducing the level of service, we must reduce consumptions and costs based on Air Force Energy Policies and meet the related energy and water reduction goals. 

Aviano Air Base spends $29,500 per day for utilities. Electricity plays the dominant role with 74 percent of the total cost, followed by natural gas (16 percent), water (5.5 percent) and heating fuel (4.5 percent). 

We can and must help reduce Aviano AB utility bill. In October 2008, the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron created an Asset Management Optimization office to improve and optimize energy management. Several energy and water conservation, and renewable energy projects were developed and approved for execution. The first Aviano renewable energy project will be a Geothermal System at the Dragon Fitness Center that will provide hot domestic water and cold water for air conditioning. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2010. 

One of Aviano AB's year-long energy saving initiatives was to join the military installations campaign "Operation Change Out", a national call to action to encourage every individual to help save and protect the environment through energy efficient lighting. Aviano AB's contribution consisted of replacing more than 1,000 incandescent bulbs with more efficient Energy Star compact fluorescent bulbs which save up to 75-80 percent of energy. 

Energy awareness is the foundation for cultural and behavioral change. Let us take this opportunity to talk about energy and how to save it with colleagues, friends and family with particular attention to our children by teaching them and showing by example.
Every day, each of us can change our habits and attitude by making energy a consideration in all we do both at workplace and at home. 

For energy questions, to report energy waste, share a successful energy saving story or to provide ideas for improvements, call DSN 632-3056 or e-mail renzo.basso@aviano.af.mil. 

For energy saving tips, visit the Department of Energy Web site at http://www.energy.gov/energysavingtips.htm

To learn more about the Energy Star Operation Change Out Military Challenge, visit http://www.energystar.gov/OCO.