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552nd ACW wins first base-wide energy conservation competition

In a Tinker Energy Steering Group meeting Sept. 19, Col. Steven Bleymaier, 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker installation commander, emphasized the importance of Tinker reducing its energy consumption appetite. “Off We Go” is Tinker’s energy reduction program, which this year featured a June through August competition among the major base organizations’ headquarters buildings. During the meeting, Colonel Bleymaier, right, surprised the 552nd Air Control Wing with the first annual award. Col. Tom Engle, 552nd ACW vice commander, accepted the traveling trophy for the wing’s 24 percent energy consumption reduction during the three-month period.  The Navy, which led for most of the contest, tied the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Group for second with 21 percent.  (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

In a Tinker Energy Steering Group meeting Sept. 19, Col. Steven Bleymaier, 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker installation commander, emphasized the importance of Tinker reducing its energy consumption appetite. “Off We Go” is Tinker’s energy reduction program, which this year featured a June through August competition among the major base organizations’ headquarters buildings. During the meeting, Colonel Bleymaier, right, surprised the 552nd Air Control Wing with the first annual award. Col. Tom Engle, 552nd ACW vice commander, accepted the traveling trophy for the wing’s 24 percent energy consumption reduction during the three-month period. The Navy, which led for most of the contest, tied the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Group for second with 21 percent. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 552nd Air Control Wing has set the standard and is the winner of Tinker's first Off We Go Energy Reduction Competition. Over the course of the summer, personnel in the wing's headquarters' building decreased energy consumption by 24 percent over what was used in the same period during fiscal 2011.

The winners earned bragging rights and a trophy, which was presented in mid-September at the September Energy Steering Group meeting.

"The Airmen of the 552nd Air Control Wing are very pleased to take first place in this friendly competition - a contest that everyone wins since we all saved energy and money for the Air Force," said Col. Greg Guillot, 552nd ACW commander. "We implemented some new energy-saving techniques, and our challenge now is to make those measures part of our daily operating routines so saving energy can be a year-round practice."

Introduced in late May by 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker installation Commander Col. Steven Bleymaier, the contest challenged various on-base headquarters' facilities to see which unit could save the most energy during June, July and August. 72nd ABW Civil Engineering Directorate personnel monitored the usage by tracking the facilities' meters and compiled weekly results.

Britton Young, Tinker's Energy Team point-of-contact in the 72nd ABW/CE, said she wondered who would win the contest as it was anyone's game early on. Through much of the competition, Navy's Take Charge and Move Out community led in the standings. In later weeks, the 552nd ACW jumped to the lead.

Wing personnel said setting the building's temperature to 76 degrees contributed to the win, as well as being diligent about other energy conservation measures including turning off printers and computer monitors at the end of the day. Additionally, lights were turned off when rooms were unoccupied and signs were posted throughout the building as reminders.

When all was said and done, the air control wing decreased energy usage by 45,000 kilowatt hours over the previous year and saved roughly $2,035.

"The 552nd ACW team did an outstanding job and really showed how members of a unit can reduce energy consumption simply by focusing on the little things and changing their daily habits," said Colonel Bleymaier. "The good news is we can all follow the example of the 552nd ACW and the other units in the competition - every day, in our own offices and work centers - and we can all help reduce Tinker's energy consumption."

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