DPW continues to monitor energy usage as costs surge

| July 8, 2016 | 0 Comments
Nathaniel Banks Jr., BAE East Range Division warehouse supervisor uses a laser temperature monitor to ensure air conditioning settings are correctly set at 74 degrees.

Nathaniel Banks Jr., BAE East Range Division warehouse supervisor uses a laser temperature monitor to ensure air conditioning settings are correctly set at 74 degrees                        

Story and photo by Santiago Hernandez
Directorate of Public Works
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii


Summer has arrived, and so have higher energy prices.

Within the crude oil industry, analysts predict that the barrel of crude oil will not drop anytime soon. Since January, it has risen 63% and is expected to reach a height of $54 per barrel before the year ends. What does this mean for U. S. Army Garrison-Hawaii?

As the price of energy goes up, so does its energy bill – way up. However, the Directorate of Public Works is diligently working with military and civilian organizations in order to keep energy usage down … and it’s working.

The DPW engineering branch monitors energy use throughout USAG-HI.

“For some facilities, we have seen a 30 percent increase in our energy use since the beginning of the year,” said Jean-Paul Guillemot, DPW’s electrical engineer. “Energy savings is a garrison-wide, multi-faceted effort that can best be achieved if both the community (military, family, contractors, etc.) and the DPW act as a team.

DPW can issue and disseminate the energy policies, but what is key is its implementation at every level, Guillemot said.

“Everyone, Soldier or civilian, can help save energy by turning off the lights and air conditioner when not in use, and making sure windows and doors are closed when the air conditioner is on,” Guillemot explained.

Other helpful habits include, limiting the use of huge energy bandit appliances such as toasters, refrigerators, and mini second refrigerators.

“High energy prices are coming,” he said. “We have to start learning to do more with less and save.”

Jean-Paul is currently working with the Army Corps of Engineers from Huntsville, Ala., to have additional energy meters installed throughout the garrison.

“DPW will have approximately 119 additional meters installed within the next year, which will give us a total of 450 meters,” Guillemot said. “Energy is too expensive to waste and costs are skyrocketing. Monitoring our usage is essential, especially towards facilitating Army energy security and resiliency in Hawaii.”

BAE Systems, a military contractor on East Range, is onboard to help USAG-HI save energy.

“We had 28 employees, both on Oahu and at Pohakuloa Training Area, trained by DPW as building energy monitors, within the past two weeks,” said Ronette Sniffen, BAE’s East Range energy conservation manager. “Our company utilizes 15 large Army warehouses, so reducing our energy consumption and helping the Army obtain its energy goals is important to us. We have reduced our energy usage significantly by simply consolidating the use of refrigerators, limiting microwaves, coffee pots, personal printers, and turning warehouse lighting systems off when not in use – really, just doing the basics. My staff and I have already started asking DPW to conduct energy assessments of our sites and do more conservation training when possible.”

Hawaiian Electric Company recommends that you open windows to let Hawaii’s trade winds cool your office or home instead of using the air conditioner. Additionally:

  • Run your ceiling fans instead of using expensive HVAC systems.
  • Replace old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs with cool and efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75 percent less energy, produce less heat, and last longer, or better yet, LED lighting systems.
  • Strategically position window shades and louvers to block the sun and keep the office or home cooler.
  • Replace your old shower head with a new “low-flow” shower head which uses only 1.5 gallons of water per minute compared to older ones that can use up to 5.5 gallons per minute.

Community participation can help to keep energy costs down. Following simple techniques and basic practices can help reduce energy costs.

Saving energy is everyone’s responsibility. Motivate your military and civilian personnel, unit, friends and family members to join the movement and help make a difference.

We cannot afford to do otherwise.

Service Order & HECO tips
All unit work orders can be called in to the DPW Service Order Desk: 656-1275.
For tips on keeping your home or office cool without the big energy expense, visit www.heco.com/.


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Category: News, Sustainability

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