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Help JTF Scott conserve energy

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- These are just a few examples of how energy can be conserved at your home or office on base: setting thermostats lower or higher, fixing dripping faucets, unplugging appliances and turning off lights when leaving rooms for long periods of time. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Megan Gilliland)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- These are just a few examples of how energy can be conserved at your home or office on base: setting thermostats lower or higher, fixing dripping faucets, unplugging appliances and turning off lights when leaving rooms for long periods of time. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Megan Gilliland)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Helping conserve energy has become a major focus of the Air Force recently and Joint Total Force Scott members are encouraged to do even little things to help make this a reality.

In the recently passed DoD Energy Conservation Investment Program, the goal of each military installation is to reduce energy consumption by 3 percent per year through 2015.

"With this program in place since 2006, Scott must have reduced energy use by 9 percent this year," said Elizabeth Toftemark, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron conservation chief. "This may seem like a steep goal to reach, but it is going to take commitment of everyone on each installation to change behaviors, innovative thinking and a willingness to sacrifice."

Energy conservation isn't a military only program. In December 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This act says that all federal facilities must reduce energy consumption by 3 percent and water consumption by 2 percent annually through 2015. In addition, by 2013, at least 7.5 percent of all energy must come from renewable sources such as solar or wind power.

To keep up with these goals the 375th CES conservation office has created a list of things JTF Scott members can do to help out.

Here are some ideas: 

1. Change incandescent bulbs to a compact fluorescent. Ninety percent of the energy consumed by an incandescent light bulb is wasted. 

2. Turn off electronic equipment when not in use, such as stereo and video equipment and computers monitors. Computers and printers consume electricity even in "sleep" mode. 

3. Make sure personal items such as radios, coffee pots, TVs and fans are turned off when leaving for more than 30 minutes. 

4. Purchase only "Energy Star" labeled appliances and equipment. The federal government could save an estimated $900 million per year in energy costs if all equipment was "Energy Star" compliant. 

5. Turn off lights when leaving a room. Office lights are typically left on more than 10 hours per day, while the typical office is occupied for only eight. If only 10 percent of the 3,000,000 people employed by the DoD turned off lights when leaving for lunch, the federal government could save more than 1.2 million dollars per year. 

6. Keep exterior doors and windows closed. More than half of a building's energy cost is in heating and cooling. Keep the conditioned air inside and the unconditioned air outside. 

7. Watch the thermostat in the winter. Each heating degree lower saves about 3 percent of the heating costs. 

8. Recycle and re-use. 

9. Repair leaking faucets. A drip once per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year. 

10. Resolve to make a difference.

"If JTF Scott members followed the guidelines on this list, Scott would be well on the way to meeting its energy savings goals," said Mrs. Toftemark.