Energetic Savings

Diversifying the Air Force’s energy portfolio and reducing energy consumption will remain top priorities for Air Force leaders. Speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Tuesday afternoon, Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton said Air Force installations cover an area “twice the size of New Jersey” and facilities cover more than 600 million square feet of building space. “We’ve worked to diversify our sources of supply and to reduce consumption both on our installations and in our operational flying,” she said. Nellis AFB, Nev., now produces more than 25 percent of its total base power through a 28,570 mega-watt photovoltaic array. Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB, Ga., saves 33 percent of the energy once used to paint the Air Force’s fleet of C-5 aircraft simply by controlling the climate only when the C-5s are inside the facility. But changes in the use of aviation fuel may provide the biggest dividend. Air Mobility Command has identified $500 million in potential savings by operating more efficiently. “These are important numbers. … These efficiencies have consequences. The net $372 million in savings AMC will accrue allowed us to make investments in combat capability,” she said. “Every dollar we don’t have to spend on energy is a dollar that can go to weapons systems, maintenance, and family housing or other projects that support our airmen.”