USAG Schinnen reduces building energy use 24 percent: Ka-ching!
August 1, 2011
- Building Energy Monitor Program reaps reward$
- One building cuts its energy use in half
- Entire garrison reduces building energy use nearly 24 percent
SCHINNEN, Netherlands -- How would a 58 percent reduction in energy use affect your budget? That’s what USAG Schinnen is enjoying for one building after implementing a Building Energy Monitor (BEM) Program.
Kathy Ter Veen, a Program Manager, was awarded a certificate and VVV vouchers valued at EURO 50 at a Commander’s Call held July 28 in the garrison’s Community Activity Center for leading the garrison’s reduction in energy use.
“Overall, the garrison reduced energy usage, measured in kilowatt hours, 23.98 percent as compared to the same 9-month time period last year. Kathy Ter Veen reduced energy usage in her building more than 58 percent,” said Peter Scheilen, USAG Schinnen’s Energy Manager.
“I received great cooperation in my building. My building is small, so it was simple to control; and it is located in a place that allows it to stay cool, which helps keep energy usage down in the summer. So I concentrated on keeping lights, computers and peripherals turned off unless they were needed. Simple, really, said Ms. Ter Veen.
“The BEM Program grew out of our garrison strategic plan. We appointed an Energy Monitor for every building on the garrison, showed them the energy used by their building in fiscal year 2010 and challenged them to reduce energy use,” said Scheilen.
The program measures energy used by coffee pots, space heaters or coolers, lights, computers, printers, monitors and other office equipment. The garrison is monitoring heating and other energy conservation efforts in separate programs, which so far add up to a cost avoidance of more than $45,000 in nine months.
Before the program kicked-off, Building Energy Monitors received training that included infra-red pictures of their buildings.
“These pictures and energy use records showed our Building Monitors where some of our most significant energy ‘spillage’ was located. Then, with our goals defined, we got after it,” said Scheilen.
“The overall sum of the garrison’s savings, 24 percent, was impressive to me and it’s very encouraging to see how we can significantly reduce energy use by simply changing our habits,” said Ms. Ter Veen.
“Team Schinnen showed themselves what it’s all about " first gaining situational awareness and then changing behavior. It is very encouraging to see the support from the entire team including our tenant units. We have a great foundation in building energy monitoring from committed personnel and support across the entire garrison,” said USAG Schinnen Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Chad R. Arcand.
USAG Schinnen’s Car Care Center reduced their energy use nearly 39 percent, mostly by removing seldom-used vending machines. The main exchange on USAG Schinnen has reduced energy use by 12 percent.
“One becomes very aware when you can see the energy meter running, and I was pleased and surprised to learn how well my building performed. After all, I am just one small building,” said Ms. Ter Veen.
USAG Schinnen’s energy use is being compared to fiscal year 2010. After a year, a new baseline will be drawn and the challenge to reduce will become numerically tougher, explained Scheilen.
“But this is good. We’re able to improve our monitoring and energy use. This program helps us refine our energy culture. The less energy we use, the better it is for the Army, the environment and our budgets,” Scheilen said.
“Mr. Scheilen started with efficiencies based upon technical improvements, like timers and on/off sensors, but these efforts can only go so far and require funding. Now our effort is on changing behavior and doing the right thing. A savings of more than $45,000 after nine months is an outstanding achievement. We’re looking forward to the final quarter,” Arcand said.
So, how would a reduction in energy use affect your budget? Change a few habits and start watching them add-up today.