News | Oct. 17, 2016

Everyone has a role in conserving energy

By Damon Igou DLA Installation Support at Richmond

In a presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama established October 2016 as National Energy Action Month.

“I call upon the citizens of the United States to recognize this month by working together to achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment for our children,” Obama states in the proclamation.

Our country continues advancing in renewable and alternative energy, low-carbon technologies, and developing cleaner fuels, but the president also encourages energy efficiency. The president stated in last year’s proclamation that the buildings we live and work in are responsible for about a third of our nation’s energy use.

In observation of National Energy Month, training will be offered for Energy Champions from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Oct. 19 in Building 80, 2nd Floor in the Conference Room.

An Energy Action Fair will be held in the Center Restaurant from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 25 to provide employees information about energy conservation and efficiency. 

The Department of Energy has published a list of actions individuals can take in their workplaces to conserve energy and help achieve a healthier environment. Many of the items are simple and common sense actions that can have a big impact over time. They include:

1. Eliminating incandescent lighting and using compact fluorescent lights or light-emitting diodes rather than incandescent lightbulbs in desktop lighting.

2. Turning off lights when leaving for the night.

3. Using natural lighting, and when possible, turning off lights near windows.

4. Using task lighting instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focusing the light where it is needed to directly illuminate work areas.

5. Closing or adjusting window blinds to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs during warm months.

6. In winter, opening the blinds on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the workspace. At night, closing the blinds to reduce heat loss.

7. Unplugging equipment that drains energy when not in use such as cell phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers and radios.

8. Turning off computer monitors at the end of the work day. Even in sleep or power-saving mode, monitors still use low amounts of energy. However, don’t shut off desktop or laptop computers as they may need to remain on so the Information Technology Team can run updates and patches.

9. Saving paper. Photocopy or print only what is needed. Always use the second side of paper, either by printing on both sides or using the blank side as scrap paper.

10. Carpooling, biking, or using mass transit when commuting to work.

11. Consider using alternative work schedules and teleworking to reduce the energy use of greenhouse gas emissions from commuting.

12. Reducing business travel by increasing phone, video and web conferencing and training capabilities.

13. Using coffee mugs instead of disposable cups. Using reusable water bottles instead of purchasing bottled water, which will reduce solid waste and the energy required to manufacture disposable cups and bottles.

Everyone can do their part to help save energy and take control of the agency’s energy consumption. “During National Energy Action Month, let us recommit to forging the future that is within our capacity to reach by supporting clean, renewable, and independent means of energy production and by taking control of our own energy consumption. Everything we have is at stake — and we must fight for it,” states the president in his 2016 proclamation.

Read more about what you can do to conserve energy in the following links.