News>Liberty Wing leads the way to a more energy efficient USAFE with Transformer Cut Off Initiative
Story at a Glance
October is Energy Action Month RAF Lakenheath aims to save $750,000 a year by being more energy efficient Improving energy efficiency allows for a more lethal and effective military
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - A box of 120-volt, U.S. specification, power cords sits in front of an F-15E Strike Eagle Oct. 12. The 48th Fighter Wing is currently switching these cords with 240-volt, European specification, power cords on dual-voltage devices as a part of the Transformer Cut Off Initiative, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-wide energy savings initiative. The initiative is slated to save the 48th FW $750,000 per year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England – A power and energy monitor displays the amount of watts a small transformer is using without having any appliances plugged into it. The 48th Fighter Wing created and is implementing the Transformer Cut Off Initiative, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-wide energy savings initiative, which is slated to save the 48th FW $750,000 per year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch)
by Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/16/2012 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- With Energy Action Month underway, the 48th Fighter Wing is leading the way in a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-wide initiative to save energy by vastly reducing the amount of power transformers the base utilizes.
"We can save $750,000 a year (at the 48th FW) without impacting the mission," said Sean Cockrell, 48th FW base energy manager.
The savings are slated to come from the 120-volt Transformer Cut Off Initiative, which the 48th FW created and is currently implementing. The initiative involves vastly reducing the amount of 120-volt transformers being utilized at RAFs Lakenheath and Feltwell.
These transformers are found in almost every building at the bases and provide U.S. specification 120-volt power capabilities. The issue is the building transformers are always on, and use power even when they are not in use.
"This transformer issue wasn't possible a few years ago, because technology didn't allow it," Cockrell said. "It just so happens that everything is dual voltage now."
The Transformer Cut Off Initiative implementation is a three-phase plan. The first phase includes swapping out all the power cords on dual-voltage devices. The second phase involves creating a purchase list for items that are not dual voltage, and the third phase is turning off the building transformers.
According to Cockrell, there will be some mission-essential equipment requiring 120-volt power that cannot be changed out and will continue to require transformers. In these situations, the power will be supplied by a small transformer, which can be turned off and on instead of a building transformer in order to reduce energy usage.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley spoke in August of the importance of reducing energy usage at the 2012 National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.
"Every dollar we don't spend on energy would allow us to invest that dollar into enhancing a high quality and ready force," Donley said.
Cockrell echoed Donley's sentiment saying "by reducing our electric bill, we can reduce our operating cost, and that money can directly go to the mission."
According to Donley, projects like the Transformer Cut Off Initiative do more than just save money.
"Together we are building resiliency into the full range of our mission activities and enhancing energy security by assuring supplies and reducing dependence on expensive or vulnerable sources of energy," he said. "By improving the way DoD uses energy, we can create a more agile, lethal, adaptable and effective military force."
If you have someone you would like to be considered for Liberty Spotlight, please refer to the Spotlight submission page by clicking here.
NOTE: All submissions must be approved by the commander or first sergeant.
Public Affairs Office
This webpage is maintained by the 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office. For questions about what services we provide, contact us at:
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Unit 5210 Box 215
APO AE 09461-0215
The public affairs office is unable to redirect calls or provide phone numbers. If searching for a phone number on base, please call the base operator.
Calling Base Operator from the continental U.S.:
Comm: 011 44 1638 521 110
Calling Base Operator from within England:
Comm: 01638 521 110