News>Misawa's energy guru analyzes work centers for energy savings
Cari Schroeder, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, inspects the back of a washer for its installation date at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 15, 2012. During the inspection, Schroeder verifies all washers and driers are in compliance with the latest upgrades. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield)
Kelly Sussman, assistant to the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, checks a faucet for its low flow aerator at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 15, 2012. Low flow aerators can save up to 13,000 gallons of water, which equates to savings of $100 per year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield)
Kelly Sussman, assistant to the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, cleans a clogged lint filter during an energy usage inspection at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 15, 2012. Clogged lint filters make the dryer work harder and break, which means going to the Laundromat for dry clothes. Clogged filters also pose a fire hazard. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield)
Cari Schroeder, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, writes down discrepancies and areas of improvement during a resource efficiency inspection at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 15, 2012. After Schroeder compiles the discrepancies, she presents them to the facility manager to fix. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield)
by Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
11/19/2012 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Many Misawa Air Base service members have heard the call to conserve energy and resources. Some have even signed pledges to be more energy efficient at work and home. Now, the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron has someone with one eye on the base's energy usage, and the other eye on a checklist.
Cari Schroeder, 35th CES resource efficiency manager, is the guru with the eyes on the energy prize. Armed with her small pickup truck, clipboard and an assistant, she performs spot inspections on the base's industrial buildings to include aircraft hangers, dorms, gyms and work centers.
Some of the discrepancies they look for are buildings that haven't been upgraded with motion sensors for lights, energy efficient light bulbs and low flow faucets. She also seeks out appliances that have been modified, decreasing their efficiency.
Some modifications include breaking automatic thermostat housings in order to manually regulate the heat, Schroeder said. She also looks for modified heaters. These heaters have had their thermostats removed or adjusted to keep them running hotter, longer. These heaters are not only less efficient but dangerous too.
"The reason we do building walkthroughs, is to look for no-cost or low-cost opportunities to make buildings more energy efficient and safe," said Schroeder. "My goal is to do a walkthrough for every building in the 35th Fighter Wing."
When Schroeder finds discrepancies or areas of improvement, she notifies the facility manager of the issues and gives recommendations on how to fix them. She also prepares work request orders for upgrades in previously inspected buildings.
"Inspections like this are good," said Junya Fujihashi, 35th Force Support Squadron Misawa Inn operations manager. "Sometimes you need someone to come around and check out how you're doing business."
During these inspections, Schroeder understands people forget to shut off the lights when they leave a room. On that note, she also understands that inspecting with an iron fist, or yelling at them about issues, isn't always the right way.
"The best thing we can do is to keep the lines of communication open," said Schroeder. "This is so the facility managers know we're their friends and not their enemies. The more we communicate with facility managers, the more likely they will reach out to us when there is a problem."
These inspections are not meant to burden units, but to change the way people think about energy usage, she added.
"It's nice to perform these inspections with someone who has been an energy manager for a while," said Kelly Sussman, assistant to the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager. "Experiences like this really open my eyes to my own energy usage at home. It also prepares people for when they need to go somewhere else and start paying for their own energy. It really makes us think of the future."