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NEWS | July 14, 2014

Eustis continues steps toward energy efficiency

By Airman 1st Class Kimberly Nagle 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

For most people, the end of the workday includes a checklist of to-do's before heading home: log out of the computer, clean up the desk, gather belongings and head home.

By adding a few small steps, like turning off computer monitors and printers, personnel at Fort Eustis, Virginia can assist in the effort to save energy, reduce use of natural resources and save money.

"[With] today's fiscal constraints, we need to save money where we can," said David Malpass, 733rd Civil Engineer Division contract performance evaluator. "We also want to be able to meet the needs of the mission at Fort Eustis."

Most people may not be aware that saving energy also means finding new ways to replace the fossil fuels used in energy production, said Malpass. Additionally, federal mandates require reduced energy consumption.

Fort Eustis employees have reduced the base's annual energy costs by $1.3 million from fiscal years 2008 through 2013 by undertaking several energy saving measures. These projects involved the installation of new lighting, heating and air conditioning units, solar tracking skylights and solar hot water heaters.

Several water saving measures such as low flow shower heads, sink aerators and low flow toilet valves were also installed throughout the base. Annual water usage was reduced by approximately 40 million gallons since 2008, saving over $30,000 annually, said Malpass.

"Reducing the use of fossil fuels would free up much-needed funds that could be used elsewhere," he explained. "If we have the capability to produce all the energy we need on the base, then we have the ability to continue to function if outside utilities were lost."

Ultimately, all energy costs for the government are paid by taxpayers, so it makes sense to save energy where we can, Malpass said. The goal at Fort Eustis is to save energy and reduce energy costs with little or no impact on comfort and mission.

Malpass offered several energy saving tips:

· Unplug items such as phone chargers, label printers and computer speakers when not in use.
· Do not overload electrical circuits with power strips.
· Because fans only move air around and don't cool a room, using fans in empty rooms wastes energy.
· Use task lighting, like desk lamps for example, instead of overhead lights.
· Keep windows and doors closed to help heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems function properly.
· In the winter, lower building or home temperatures while away.
· Use more efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescent lamp bulbs or light-emitting diode bulbs.
· Lower water heater temperature.
· Don't run water while brushing teeth.
· Seal all gaps around buildings and homes to prevent heat and cooling loss.

For more questions or more information on being energy efficient contact Malpass at 878-5466.