Challenge goes out to tenants to help save energy, water

| March 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Robin Hibler
Directorate of Public Works

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii tenants are being required to step up their energy and water conservation efforts as audits are conducted at all Oahu posts.

Recently, U.S. Army-Pacific issued a memo making senior commanders accountable and requiring all levels of command to reduce energy and water use, to include during training, to the maximum extent possible.

The Directorate of Public Works is conducting surprise energy audits on U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii installations to catch and correct energy waste. Sprinklers water sidewalks and the street, instead of grass. A recent U.S. Army-Pacific memo requires all levels of command to reduce energy and water use to the maximum extent possible.In addition, participation in the USAG-HI Building Energy Monitor Program is required by all tenants, and general energy awareness training is being offered by the garrison’s Directorate of Public Works.

To help determine where improvements can be made, energy audits are being conducted day and night, without prior notice, at all USAG-HI posts.

The energy assessments are the garrison’s primary means of identifying where waste is happening. The common reasons found for energy waste are:

• Lights, window or small, split air-conditioning units are left on;
• Air-condition settings are too cold (Army Regulation 420-1 requires settings to be no cooler than 74 degrees);
• Doors and windows in air-conditioned spaces are left open;
• Broken or poorly adjusted sprinkler heads found in the landscaping around the building;
• Outdoor lighting is left on during the day;
• Use of small personal refrigerators (prohibited by AR 420-1);
• Computers or monitors are left on all day and night.

Waste identified that is not occupant-controlled, like photo sensors or out-of-adjustment timers that run lighting, are being assessed and turned into projects.

A propped door lets air conditioning escape.The DPW is assessing these projects and attempting to provide funding despite limited money and manpower.

In Fiscal Year 2007, USAG-HI spent about $45 million on utilities. Due to both an increase in usage by tenants and the skyrocketing oil costs in FY 2008, that figure grew to about $64 million in 2008, then dropped to $55 million in FY 2009.

As a result, USAG-HI’s budget for utilities was over by several millions of dollars each of these years, with the ever-growing electric bill being the biggest culprit.

In FY 2008, the budget shortfall was $14 million; in FY 2009, it was $6 million.

Soldiers continue to be directly affected by this shortfall because money that could have been used on other Army projects, including quality of life programs meant to improve residents’ lives, has instead been directed toward paying for soaring electric and water bills.

For more information on the Building Energy Monitor Program or to schedule energy training, call 656-3072 or e-mail robin.hibler@us.army.mil.

Category: News, Sustainability

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