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News > Pete Light encourages base community to conserve: New mascot preaches energy efficiency, conservation
Pete Light
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Pete Light encourages base community to conserve: New mascot preaches energy efficiency, conservation

Posted 6/2/2008   Updated 6/2/2008 Email story   Print story


by Cory Dahl
21st Space Wing Public Affairs

6/2/2008 - PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- -- Smokey Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, Louie the Lightening Bug.

Every great public service campaign has a memorable mascot, and now Peterson joins the club with its new energy conservation spokesperson - Pete Light.

A talking energy-efficient light bulb, Pete Light and his energy-saving tips are set to grace promotional materials, such as coffee mugs, magnets and brochures that will be handed out at base events. A dressed-up mascot will also appear at kid-focused events to talk to children about saving energy.

The creation of Pete Light is part of the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron's ongoing campaign to reduce energy usage here by encouraging simple, easy changes.

"We wanted to create a mascot, some kind of leader that people could associate with energy conservation," said Maj. Stacey Anason, 21st CES's chief of operations. "He's something we can put on freebies to remind people to conserve, and kids can identify with him."

While Pete Light is a congenial character, the issue he's promoting is a serious one for Peterson and the Air Force as a whole. In January 2007, President Bush issued an executive order mandating a three percent per year reduction in energy use at all government installations. By 2015, all installations will need to have reduced their 2003 energy usage by 30 percent.

If an installation fails to meet the reduction requirements, funding for the additional usage would come out of the installation's pocket - in Peterson's case, the 21st Space Wing's budget.

"We need to do everything we can to save energy because it's also saving funds," Major Anason said. "We don't want to spend money that could go toward improving a mission on our utilities bill."

Cutting back on energy usage also makes the Peterson community a good steward of the environment, said Randall Pieper, 21st CES resource efficiency manager. The less energy the base uses, the less the base is contributing to global warming and the reduction of limited energy sources.

"The country is basically facing an energy crisis," he said. "It goes beyond greenhouse gases and global warming; it has to do with increased demand on finite resources."

Increased demand is one reason meeting the reduction goal could be tough for Peterson. While energy usage needs to be reduced, the base's missions are expected to grow over the next few years, bumping up energy demand.

"We have growing missions, so it's going to be difficult to do," Mr. Pieper said. "We need everybody's help to be able to meet these goals."

Simple changes base employees can make to help reduce energy consumption include:

- Getting rid of space heaters. The small heaters increase the energy load on buildings and could mask an HVAC problem that needs to be fixed.
- Turning off lights, computer monitors and printers at the end of the day or when not in use.
- Making sure energy-saving features are active on copiers and printers so they will go into "sleep" mode when not being used.
- Cutting back on the number of office coffee pots and mini-fridges in use.
- Reducing the number of printers and copiers in each office.

By following just the tips above, base employees could significantly reduce Peterson's roughly $8 million annual energy bill - the third highest in the 21st Space Wing - without even noticing a difference.

"The changes aren't supposed to be painful," Mr. Pieper said. "This is about reducing energy use, not comfort."

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