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Luke AFB reduces energy, earns money

by Airman 1st Class David Owsianka
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/10/2012 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron here will receive approximately $54,500 from an energy program by reducing the amount of electricity Luke Air Force Base uses from June 1 to Sept. 30.

The Peak Solutions Program was created through a partnership between Comverge, an energy management solution company, and Arizona Public Service.

"As one of APS's largest consumers, it's important to take part in this program by reducing the electrical demand and supporting their mission in providing uninterrupted electric service throughout (Phoenix's) West Valley," said Tech. Sgt. Ricardo Vera, 56th CES energy program specialist.

The APS Peak Solution Program enables organizations like Luke AFB to voluntarily participate to enhance electricity reliability and receive an incentive.

"APS determines the electricity we could reduce through the measures we take, and then we receive an incentive from that," Vera said.

According to Vera, APS is able to generate approximately 10 million megawatts at any given time. When they started the program, they were approaching 8.5 to 9 million megawatt production during the summer.

The average household in America uses approximately 950 kilowatt-hours per month. Ten million megawatts can power 10,526,315 homes in a month.

APS performs an energy audit with each client to identify the amount of power use an individual client can reduce through the Peak Solutions Program.

Last year, Luke AFB saved 1,285 kilowatts during the first year with the program.

According to Joel Fisher, who works for Comverge, APS customers use most of their electricity in the summer. As the area grows, the demand for electricity reaches higher peak levels and it puts a strain on the power system.

"This program has a positive impact on Arizona's environment by lowering energy use during hot afternoons and delays the need to build additional power plants," Fisher said.

According to Fowler, the program allows Luke AFB to enhance sustainability and system reliability during the hot summer months and lower peak power costs.

"Everyone must do their part to conserve," Vera said. "Team Luke will continue to do our part to reduce utility expenses for the Air Force and reduce our overall carbon footprint."

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