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September 28, 2012

News

Army designates October as Energy Awareness Month

The Department of the Army has designated October as Energy Awareness Month to highlight what members of the Army community can do to help conserve the use of energy.

Michael J. Kelley, Energy-Utilities Branch chief, for the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW), said all federal agencies are mandated by law to reduce energy usage.

Fort McCoy’s DPW has been renovating buildings, as funding becomes available, to improve energy efficiency.

This includes replacing lighting, heating/cooling systems and windows, as well as adding or improving insulation to gain energy efficiency.

Members of the work force also must support the energy-reduction effort, Kelley said. Many actions are the same or similar to conserving energy in their own residences: turning off lights, copy and fax machines, scanners, etc., or putting computers in the sleep mode and turning off peripherals such as printers, speakers, monitors, etc., when practical, when leaving a room; setting back the thermostat in unoccupied areas; unplugging devices not in use; and turning off electronic devices at the end of the day, he said.

Work force members also can seek energy-saving ideas or products.

Fort McCoy’s Environmental Management System encourages members of the work force to procure, when practical, environmentally preferable and energy-efficient products and products made from recycled materials.

Workers should report missing or damaged weather stripping, lights that can’t be turned off, exterior lights that remain on during the day, leaky faucets, and other minor maintenance items. Such repairs can help reduce energy costs, Kelley said.
Employees should report discrepancies to their building energy monitors, who can help rectify the situation by working through the DPW Work Order Control Help Desk at the 608-388-4357 (HELP) line.

During the upcoming winter heating season, thermostats should be set in accordance with Army Regulation 420-1.

Temperatures in occupied facilities will be maintained in the range of 72 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus two degrees during working hours.

Kelley said during times when facilities are unoccupied, thermostats should be set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures in warehouses and similar active working spaces, like maintenance bays, will be set at 60 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit during occupancy and 45 degrees Fahrenheit plus or minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit during unoccupied periods. Warehouses will not be heated if they are usually devoid of human activity and if freezing and condensation are not issues.

If a thermostat is set to the prescribed temperature and occupants still feel too warm or too cold, the first thing they should do is check and ensure they’re dressed appropriately for the weather, Kelley said.

After that, a service request should be called in to the HELP Line.

Small individual space heaters are prohibited. Opening the doors and windows with the heat turned on is not considered a permanent solution, he said.

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