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    Small changes reduce energy



    Story by Lance Cpl. Donald Peterson 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CAMP BUTLER, Japan - October is energy awareness month, which offers a good opportunity to inform people of the measures they can take to decrease their personal energy use at home and work.

    “Marine Corps Base Camp Butler’s goal is to reduce the overall consumption of energy by Marines on Okinawa 30 percent by 2015,” said Charles Chen, resource efficiency manager with Energy Engineering and Consulting Services, MCB Camp Butler.

    MCB Camp Butler has already made progress towards meeting its energy reduction goals, but there is plenty individuals can do every day to help achieve the 30 percent reduction. Getting service members and their families involved in energy reduction is one of the key strategies for making improvements, according to Lubka Robertson, energy manager, G-F, Facilities, MCB Camp Butler.

    Phones, computers, televisions and other household items all depend on electricity to operate. Not everyone realizes how much energy is used by appliances and other various electrical items throughout their homes.

    “A common energy consumption problem many people are unaware of is phantom energy,” said Roberston. “Phantom energy is the energy that is being used even when appliances are turned off. Appliances like televisions and computers still consume energy while turned off.

    “One big way to help conserve energy and prevent phantom energy use from occurring is to simply unplug your appliances when they are not in use.”

    Another fact many people are unaware of is that between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m., MCB Camp Butler pays 15 percent more for electricity. The reason for the raised price is the significant increase in demand for energy throughout Okinawa during this time period, with most energy being used for air conditioning.

    One step everyone on base can take is waiting until after 4 p.m. to complete energy- consuming tasks, according to Robertson.
    Conserving electricity can be as simple as individuals ensuring windows and doors are closed properly to keep room temperatures steady and comfortable, turning lights off and using natural light when practical, or cleaning the filters on dryers and air conditioners, according to Robertson.

    Simple things like adjusting the thermostat, using less hot water, and turning the refrigerator temperature up are also good ways to save energy that have little impact on an individual’s everyday life, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Refrigerators alone can account for approximately 20 percent of electricity use in an average household, according to the EPA.

    “It’s the small things that don’t have an immediate and significant impact on you that can make a big difference,” said Lubka. “Take the time to ensure you are saving as much electricity as possible. Every little bit counts.”



    Date Taken: 10.18.2012
    Date Posted: 10.18.2012 00:29
    Story ID: 96356

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