Fort McCoy News November 22, 2013

Energy conservation tips for employees

Energy monitors look for circumstances in their areas that waste energy and try to resolve the situation, which might include such things as calling in a service order to have something repaired, or reminding the last person out of a building at night to turn out the lights.

A guide that lists the types of things to look for is attached to Fort McCoy Energy and Water Conservation Policy, No. 13-01, which is available on the Fort McCoy Corporate Network.

Some commonly held beliefs to reduce energy use are not correct, said Michael J. Kelley, chief of the Fort McCoy Energy Utilities Branch for the Directorate of Public Works.

Turning off lights does not take more energy than leaving them on. People can save costs by turning lights off if they leave the room for even 30 seconds. Kelley said that lamp (light) life also is extended by one second for every second the lights are turned off.

Leaving heating or cooling at a common setting uses more energy than setting them back when they are not being used, such as overnight, Kelley said.

Turning down the heat/air conditioning is mandated by Army Regulation 420-1, Chapter 22-12b (1). This requires heating in occupied facilities to be set back to 72 degrees (in the range of 70 to 74 degrees) and during the cooling season set back to 74 degrees (in the range from 72 to 76 degrees). Heating should be set at 55 degrees, with a range of 50 to 60 degrees, when facilities are unoccupied during the heating season.

Temperatures in warehouses and similar active working spaces, such as maintenance bays, can be set back further.

Any activity with a set-back mechanism that does not know how to use it can call Kelley at 608-388-8682.

Applying many of these same strategies at home also can help save energy and money, said Kelley.

Members of the Fort McCoy community are encouraged to replace older lights with newer lights, such as compact florescent lamp or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Although these lights cost more initially, they save a lot of money over the long term, he said.

Holiday lighting is no exception. Kelley noted that many stores now sell LED lights for Christmas trees and outdoor decorations.

Turning off these lights, either manually or with a timer, when they aren't likely to be viewed or needed, such as for overnight, can help reduce energy bills, he added.

1) Turn off computer monitors, speakers, and individual printers when not actively in use. (Army Regulation (AR) 420-1, chapter 22).

2) Don't idle government vehicles when unattended or waiting for more than 30 seconds.

3) Turn off all interior lights in every unoccupied area, even if intending to return immediately. Sometimes circuit breakers are the only way to turn off lights, as is the case in some of the un-renovated facilities.

4) Turn off all outside lights during the day.

5) Don't prop or leave open doors and windows between conditioned (heated/cooled) spaces and non-conditioned spaces.

6) Remove and unplug all extra refrigerators, microwaves, coffeepots and other appliances that service only one or two people (except as permitted by AR 420-1, chapter 22).

7) Call the Directorate of Public Works Help Desk at 608-388-HELP (4357) to report energy issues such as leaky plumbing fixtures, heating/cooling systems not working properly, missing weather stripping around doors or windows, broken windows, or exterior lighting that fails to turn off during daylight hours.

(See related story.)