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Lights out, starting point for saving energy

Old, rusted light switches are left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

Old, rusted light switches are left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the off position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)
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An old, weathered light switch is left in the on position after several years of use, Oct. 20, 2012, Columbia, S.C. The month of October marks National Energy Action Month, which encourages people to conserve energy. One way to aid in the conservation of energy is simply ensuring light switches are turned off when not in use. The switch in this image is located in an abandon insane asylum and no longer consumes energy as the power to the building has been turned off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston/Released)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- It's just a flip of the switch and like magic light fills the very space you plan to occupy, but such magic begs the question, what energy statistics are behind this luxurious power that lies at our finger tips?

Since 1991, October has been recognized as National Energy Action Month in an effort to relay the importance of energy conservation and to educate people on the positive global effects saving energy has.

In keeping with the recognition of NEAM, each year the Air Force establishes a campaign to spark the energy saving mentality amongst Airmen.

"The Air Force's campaign theme this year is 'I am Air Force Energy,' inspiring a commitment from individuals to take action in reducing energy consumption," said Kyle Davis, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manage.

In some Airmen's work sections the amount of energy required to accomplish the mission is significant, so the thought of where to start saving may sometimes be overwhelming.

"As an aerospace ground equipment mechanic, the amount of energy required to execute my every day mission is vast," said Staff Sgt. Jordan Boothe. "While we strive to save energy where we can each day, sometimes it's hard to determine where to start."

For Boothe and Airmen like him the answer is simple, start at the "switch."

It is more efficient to turn lights off even if for a short amount of time than it is to have them remain on, according to Energy.gov.

Furthermore, a standard 60-watt light bulb costs $4.80 for every two hours it's used.

This means for the average office with 40 operational, standard 60-watt light bulbs, ensuring the lights are off at the end of each duty day (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) saves more than $1,300 a day, which adds up to more than $40,000 a month and nearly $484,000 a year.

So at the end of the day Airmen who are astounded by staggering energy statistics and wonder how they can contribute, may take comfort in knowing the simple action of flipping a light switch to the off position is likely saving hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars over time.

For more energy saving tips and information, visit
www.af.mil/energyinitiatives