OC-ALC earns historic energy certification

Jordan Piper and Fernando Jacobo, both pneudraulics systems mechanics with the 550th Commodities Maintenance Squadron’s Air Accessories Squadron, set up an F-22 air cooling turbine on a test rig in order to meet technical order requirements to make sure it produces cool air in Bldg. 200’s Air Test Cells.  (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Jordan Piper and Fernando Jacobo, both pneudraulics systems mechanics with the 550th Commodities Maintenance Squadron’s Air Accessories Squadron, set up an F-22 air cooling turbine on a test rig in order to meet technical order requirements to make sure it produces cool air in Bldg. 200’s Air Test Cells. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center — the sprawling industrial aerospace operation that is also the Air Force’s largest single-site energy consumer — recently became the first organization in the federal government to be certified to a rigorous international energy management standard to boost energy efficiency and control costs.

Advanced Waste Management Systems (AWMS), an accredited ISO 50001 certification body, notified the OC-ALC on April 13 that the complex met the in-depth ISO 50001 energy management requirements for an industrial organization.

More than 9,500 OC-ALC employees work in approximately 50 buildings at Tinker Air Force Base, maintaining a variety of jet engines and overhauling vital Air Force assets such as B-1 bombers and the E-3 AWACS battle management aircraft.

The International Organization for Standardization, a nongovernmental group composed of 162 national standards bodies, sets the ISO 50001 certification standards for energy management practices that are employed extensively by large private sector companies. The voluntary requirements are designed to ensure the OC-ALC as a whole, from shop floors to offices, continuously works toward better energy performance.

Rob Ellis, CEO of Advanced Waste Management Systems Inc. in Hixson, Tenn., recently led the audit of the complex’s ISO 50001 implementation, which led to his “strong recommendation” for the certification.  He told base leaders, engineers and staff that the OC-ALC had one of the fewest number of discrepancies - two minor issues that have been corrected - of all the certification audits the company has conducted.

“You’re at the top of the heap from the benchmarking standpoint - no question,” Ellis said. “The amount of hard work and effort that went in to achieve this was very evident to us at every level and with every person we talked to.”

OC-ALC Energy Manager Joseph Cecrle said the certification illustrates the successful application of “Art of the Possible” principles for energy management.

“We will continue to improve energy performance leveraging the OC-ALC culture of continuous process improvement,” he said. “The incredible support from top management and the enthusiasm of our workforce at the shop floor made this possible.”

The certification is one of a number of “firsts” in the complex’s wide-ranging Continuous Energy Improvement program to enshrine “Art of the Possible” energy goals at the complex. It is the first time that ISO 50001 certification was included as a required goal in any Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). The complex undertook that ESPC with Honeywell. The $243 million contract for facility and energy modernization is also the largest contract of its kind in Air Force history.

The contract is projected to provide $243 million dollars infrastructure upgrades and save more than $624 million over its 21-year term. Honeywell will cover the improvement costs with no upfront expense for the complex. The energy contractor will recoup its cost from the difference in the OC-ALC’s energy savings over the years.

Bill Jackson Sr., Honeywell project manager for the ESPC, said certification is an early linchpin that will bolster the energy efficiency work to come.

“It’s the first one to get started and it gets people from the ground up working to save energy,” he said. “It will be ongoing and something that continues on. It’s not a shot in the dark and forgets it tomorrow.”

Meeting the standards is proof that a site follows sustainable energy management practices, establishes a trackable baseline of its energy use and is dedicated to continuous energy improvement, according to the Department of Energy.

Global Strategic Energy, based in Seattle, provided contractor support for implementing the ISO 50001 standards at the complex. CEO Paul Birkeland said the practices are designed for long-term impact.

“Beyond the energy savings, the ISO 50001 energy management system will ensure that a focus on energy will persist at the ALC regardless of changes in command and changes in personnel,” he said. “This is visionary. The ALC has shown the entire Department of Defense how to make energy a permanent part of its readiness and effectiveness.”

More than 7,300 corporations, manufacturers, utilities and other enterprises were ISO 50001 certified as of 2014, according to the federal Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Air Force Sustainment Center Logistics Sustainment Enterprise 2040 requirements have mandated that each of its three ALCs become ISO 50001-certified by 2020.