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For a Brighter, More Efficient Future

Sundae Knight, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, poses for a photograph, Sept. 22, 2017, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Sundae Knight, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, poses for a photograph, Sept. 22, 2017, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Knight won the award for Energy Engineer of the Year in the Asia Pacific Rim Region by the Association of Energy Engineers. She was able to direct base energy outreach campaigns and develop a project to save Yokota over 161,132 MMBTU, which is a measure of energy content of fuel and equates to $6.6 million saved each year.

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- For many saving energy may seem like a mundane task, but for a select few it’s what they live for every day.

One of those individuals is the 2016 Energy Engineer of the Year winner Sundae Knight, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager, as she helped Yokota accomplish the Energy Project of the Year in the Asia Pacific Rim Region for 2016.

“Energy touches every aspect of people’s lives. We look at electric, steam production, water production, every utility there is on this base,” said Knight.

According to Michael Haka, 374th CES energy and utilities manager, the big savings and processes that led to achieving the accolades were from a big changeover from diesel to natural gas, electric grid upgrades and successful public awareness campaigns.

From 2015 to 2016 Yokota was able to reduce energy consumption by 7.3 percent, which saved $12.9 million and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 19,213 tons.

“I really like reaching out to people and helping them understand that the habits that you can get into for saving utilities on base also translates into saving money if you do it in your home too,” said Knight. “Things like this really have a great impact on individuals, the Air Force, the mission and the community at large.”

Knight was able to direct base energy outreach campaigns and develop a project to save Yokota over 161,132 MMBTU, which is a measure of energy content of fuel and equates to $6.6 million saved each year.

“It has been a while since I have won an award, it feels nice,” said Knight. “The Association of Energy Engineers presents these awards so it means even more to me because there is a lot competition for these kind of things.”

According to Knight, the accomplishments and recognition by the base and herself go to show saving energy extends beyond the benefit it has to Yokota’s mission, and shows how it can affect the whole Department of the Defense.

“If you don’t pay attention to saving and conserving resources you are going to pay for it one way or another,” said Knight. “Either in higher taxes or in reduced capability for the mission from less money in the budget. Let’s make a change.”