Facility audits identify hundreds of conservation opportunities

  • Published
  • By Ken Walters
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires comprehensive energy and water evaluations (audits) for a majority of federal facilities. The Air Force is complying with this requirement by performing audits at all major installations on a four-year cycle. Currently, each audit covers 75 percent of an installation's square footage, with the presumption that the "highest energy consumers" are included in the audited building list. Of course, the Air Force does not audit any facilities where the utility costs are not paid by the Air Force (e.g., tenants on Air Force installations).

The specific list of buildings to be audited at each installation is determined by the base civil engineer and submitted to the major command. Typically, these buildings will not only receive audits, they should be metered and considered for benchmarking and re-commissioning as required under EISA07, section 432. To ensure a systematic and standardized process, the Air Force Facility Energy Center, part of the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency, Tyndall AFB, Fla., manages the audit program with priority given to installations that will have the most impact on achieving Air Force energy goals.

In 2010, six engineering firms audited 84 million square feet at 40 Air Force locations. The results of the audits were impressive. The engineers visited approximately 2,000 buildings and identified 15,000 energy and water conservation opportunities. If the Air Force could implement all these improvements it would save more than six billion Btus annually. Among all the conservation opportunities identified, 365 projects were created, for an investment of $175 million for energy and $10 million for water. If funded and implemented, the total annual savings would be an estimated two billion Btus and 340 million gallons of water.

For fiscal year 2011, a similarly large but more extensive audit program is underway. This year's program includes space optimization, facility condition, and high performance sustainable building assessments. This change to the program is designed to maximize civil engineering dollars and increase efficiency.

Engineers at AFCESA's Air Force Facility Energy Center appreciate your continued support as the Air Force strives to meet congressional and executive order energy and water conservation goals for our installations.