FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Fort Drum's utility bills for fiscal year 2009 totaled $26,000,000, with electricity and natural gas being the major components. The fiscal year 2010 reduced base operations budget can no longer sustain these consumption levels. While the engineers have many projects under way to install more efficient lighting, modern replacement boilers and building controls, I need your dedicated individual participation to reduce energy consumption at your facility.

Unit rear detachments must collapse their facility footprint to the minimum necessary. For the brigade combat team, this will include the BCT headquarters and two battalion headquarters for shared administrative space, one motor pool and barracks buildings sufficient to house the rear detachment's unaccompanied junior-enlisted Soldiers.

Through coordination with Public Works, all other unit facilities will be set back with reduced heat, domestic hot water shut off, ventilation systems shut off, and exterior lighting systems shut down. All company and remaining battalion administrative facilities will be set back in this fashion. Rear detachments remain responsible to watch over these vacant facilities throughout the winter months to prevent unattended facility frost damages.

At all active facilities, more diligence is needed to curb energy consumption while sustaining comfortable operating conditions. I don't expect anyone to "freeze in the dark" just to save energy. The Army's energy motto is "Conserve with Comfort and Common Sense." Guidelines for responsible thermostat settings are heating 68 degrees F to 72 F and cooling 74 F to 78 F. I want people to be comfortable. Excessively hot temperatures in the winter and excessively cool temperatures in the summer are not comfortable and waste energy. Thermostats will be set back to the extent practical when rooms or buildings are unoccupied.

Open office windows during the heating season, office window air conditioners running overnight, vehicle maintenance facility overhead doors left open for extended periods during the heating season, interior lighting left on during unoccupied periods, and vestibule doors blocked open each waste energy and are conditions you must correct on the spot. Whenever you walk out of an unoccupied room, turn off the lights. I know those of you who pay your utility bills at home do this as a matter of routine. It must become part of our operating culture at Fort Drum as well.

Public Works has been directed to regularly survey buildings to ensure compliance with these policies. After-hours surveys throughout the cantonment will identify those unoccupied facilities with their lights left on for corrective action. This includes unoccupied equipment storage areas with outdoor lighting. I've also directed a thorough review of active facility utilization so that grossly underutilized facilities can be immediately shut down and resident operations consolidated into more energy-efficient footprints where appropriate.

Energy Battle Drills will be conducted periodically to reduce electric demand. A notice will be broadcast when our electric demand approaches the monthly peak. You will be asked to reduce electric use during these peak demand periods. These periods are typically between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on summer days with exceptionally hot weather and winter days with very cold stormy weather.

Your actions should include:

* shutting off lights in empty rooms, offices, storage closets and shop bays.

* shutting off lights in hallways / vestibules where windows provide adequate illumination and likewise in vehicle shop bays in the summer when overhead bay doors are open.

* checking and shutting off exterior lights inadvertently left on.

* shutting off air conditioning in empty rooms.

* shutting off nonessential appliances, coffee makers, computers, fans, televisions, CD players, stereos, electric heaters, etc.

* deferring battery charging to the evening hours.

* closing doors and windows, particularly in the summer with air conditioning.

* avoiding running electric clothes dryers and electric ovens during these peak demand periods.
The energy battle drill is a quick and easy way to reduce energy waste with no major disruption to the mission during the times when it matters most (i.e. peak electric demand times).

The DONSA (day of no scheduled activities) is a unique opportunity for facility energy savings. A liberal leave policy for civilian employees is strongly encouraged. Individual offices normally occupied by Soldiers should have the interior lighting shut off even though the overall facility may still be open during the DONSA.

Motor vehicles idling while parked wastes energy. It is in violation of New York State's Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 1210, paragraph (a) to leave an unattended motor vehicle with the engine running.

Training is available for all unit and activity energy monitors through the Public Works energy program. Steve Rowley should be contacted at 772-5433 to schedule your participation at the battalion, garrison directorate and tenant activity levels.

As the fiscal year 2010 base operations budget has been reduced by 30 percent, services for Soldiers, Families and civilians are impacted. We must intelligently reduce our utility consumption to mitigate these budget cuts, and thereby preclude further service reductions. I expect your direct engagement in this campaign.

The point of contact for this policy memorandum is James Corriveau, director, Public Works, 772-4948.

(Note: This policy applies to all Soldiers and civilians assigned or attached to 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum.)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16