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Peterson dorms shine light on energy savings

Pete Light

Pete Light

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Earlier this month, the Peterson AFB dorms completed an energy conservation project that has been ongoing for the past year, and unless you are a resident, you may not have noticed.

The Peterson dorm management replaced all of the incandescent light bulbs with brand new, energy efficient, compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs. This project began when the unaccompanied housing manager, Master Sgt. Mark Murphy, wanted to find a way to help with the base-wide energy awareness campaign in December 2010.

At that time, the dorms were still using the inefficient incandescent light bulbs, which use approximately 75 percent more energy than modern CFLs. With the help of Jim Jacobsen, the 21st Space Wing energy manager, Sergeant Murphy was put into contact with Colorado Springs Utilities. CSU had just begun a city-wide energy awareness campaign through Project Smart Light and provided 1,100 CFLs for the dorms at no cost to Peterson AFB. The first energy efficient light bulb was installed in January 2011. After four months of replacing incandescent light bulbs in all four dorm facilities, the project was completed in April.

The Project Smart Light campaign has since ended with the Peterson dorms being the last large group to receive the free CFL upgrades. Even though no other base facilities will be eligible for this program, the dorm project alone will provide approximately 77,000 kWh per year in energy reduction, which amounts to around $4,000 in savings annually. Additionally, these new light bulbs will last five times longer than their old counterparts, providing either further savings down the road.

PeteLight thanks the dorms for their vigilance in the fight against wasted energy. As you can see, even small projects like replacing light bulbs can have a significant effect. If you have similar ideas for your work area, or questions as to how you can join the fight, contact PeteLight at PeteLight@peterson.af.mil, or phone 556-4900.

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