providing funding for infrastructure and efficiency improvements in the absence of other funding sources. They accomplish the goal of reducing energy usage (intensity), although they do not result in cost savings to the Air Force over the near term and may actually result in cost increases if a contract needs to be “bought out” due to base closure or shifting priorities. Nonetheless, absent other funding sources, they appear to be a valid mechanism and worth implementing.
Several participants noted that Air Force personnel should look for opportunities to identify which processes offer the biggest energy reduction return on investment (ROI) and to leverage what they know and how they do what they do through collaboration and networking with subject matter experts and consortia of organizations concerned with making processes better, faster, cheaper, safer, and more energy-efficient. Several participants noted that the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is well positioned to help the Air Force improve its energy usage and has published a description of its energy focus. However, it appeared to several participants that the relationship between the depots and AFRL is limited. They felt that AFRL could be tasked with helping the depots. This tasking would be consistent with a focus on next-generation technologies. Improvement of industrial processes is a fertile field for innovative engineering research.
Several participants agreed that the Air Force would benefit if it had a coherent and transparent set of metrics that related energy use to the accomplishment of the mission—the desired metric for making a value proposition to decision makers and commanders. For industrial processes, this might be energy used per unit of product (e.g., General Motors uses MWh per vehicle). One way of accounting for surges in activity might be to normalize existing energy intensity metrics to the number of direct labor hours. Many participants felt that the Air Force should consider concentrating more effort on developing a set of metrics that permit it to improve its mission capability while lowering energy use and cost.
Culture change needs to occur throughout the organization, and must be supported by the upper level of leadership. Many participants felt that the Air Force is making good progress toward metering individual facilities; however it is imperative that the information get back to the individual users of that facility who are in the best position to enact small, incremental changes. The Air Force estimates that behavior