By Rob Schuette, Triad Staff
Fort McCoy is meeting all Army energy-use reduction goals, and
support by the installation's work force can help the installation
maintain its compliance, said Matt Narus. Narus is an environmental
protection specialist for VT Griffin, the contractor for the Fort
McCoy Directorate of Support Services.
employee from Alliance Steel Construction Corporation of
, cuts sheetrock, which is used to cover insulation in a
facility. (Photo by Rob
The installation has won many energy awards over the years.
Narus said the initial energy consumption goal was to meet a 30
percent energy-use reduction using fiscal year (FY) 1985 energy
consumption as a baseline.
"We did that a long time ago," Narus said. "Our
1985 figures included burning coal for heating and not having
remodeled facilities. Our energy use was very inefficient."
Fort McCoy has remodeled many facilities, replacing windows,
adding insulation, installing energy-efficient lighting, etc., he
said. The installation also replaced coal heating with natural gas and
liquid propane. New facilities that bring in the most-up-to-date
energy-usage features also will help keep the installation's energy
use on track, he said.
energy habits can
pay off at home, tooo
The same general tips that
apply to saving energy in the workplace, such as shutting off
items when they're not in use and ensuring heating and cooling
equipment is in serviceable condition and replaced with modern
equipment as it wears out, are good strategies to follow at
home, said Matt Narus.
Narus is an
environmental protection specialist for VT Griffin, which is the
contractor for Fort McCoy Directorate of Support Services.
Adding insulation, new
windows and programmable thermostats are among other ways to
reduce energy use and save energy costs at home, he said.
Home owners can save
energy costs by ensuring they have adequate levels of attic
insulation, Narus said. In particular, for blown-in insulation,
after about 15 years it settles thus decreasing the R-value.
has a pretty quick payback," Narus said, "sometimes in
as little as two seasons (heating and cooling)."
Many older houses may
still have single-pane windows, which can lead to a big energy
loss. Narus said home owners who have single-pane windows in
this climate are advised to replace them with double-pane
windows as soon as possible.
thermostats also can help reduce energy costs by reducing
temperatures during cold weather and increasing temperatures
during hot weather and saving energy usage when residents aren't
home or are sleeping, he said.
The installation already is on track to meet the next set of
energy-reduction goals, Narus said. These are based on the 2005 energy
bill recently approved by Congress and signed by President Bush. The
goals are to reduce energy consumption by 2 percent each year from FY
2006 until FY 2015, a total of 20 percent, with
FY 2003 as the new baseline year, he said.
Narus said the FY 2003 energy consumption baseline was 124.97
million British Thermal Units (mBTU)/1,000-square feet. The
installation's usage for FY 2005 was 103.5 mBTU/1,000-square-feet,
which is a reduction of approximately 17 percent.
"We can't rest on our laurels," Narus said. "To
continue to meet the energy-reduction goals, we'll have to have
everyone on post take an active role in monitoring our energy
Members of the work force can help by ensuring heating/cooling
equipment in their areas is in proper working condition, he said. That
means all furnaces and air conditioners should work properly and
thermostats should be programmed, if possible, to control temperatures
when occupants aren't present.
This doesn't mean taking extreme measures to meet
energy-reduction goals, he said.
"We don't want employees (to have temperatures that are
too cold or too hot and) to work in uncomfortable conditions,"
Narus said. "Employees should wear appropriate seasonal clothing
to work to ensure their comfort."
Anything that increases or wastes energy use should be avoided.
Furnaces should be kept in working order to eliminate the use of space
heaters. Broken windows or other building damage that may lead to heat
(or cooling) loss should be repaired as soon as possible.
Limiting energy use is especially key because energy costs are
Narus said recent information from Xcel Energy stated natural
gas prices may increase by as much as 50 percent this winter from the
price information available in the spring, meaning that the post could
spend upwards of 5 million dollars for natural gas this year.
Personnel also can help limit energy use by ensuring that hot
water heaters are set at a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, whenever
possible. Electronics, such as computer monitors, printers, copiers,
etc., should be turned off whenever not in use, especially overnight.
Lights, including exterior building lights, also should be turned off
when not in use.