FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- October is National Energy Action Month, with Fort Jackson officials highlighting energy savings and cost avoidance measures.

"It's basically a time for individuals to take action to reduce energy consumption at work or at home," said Matthew Gibbs, energy manager for Fort Jackson. "This program is for everybody: Soldiers, federal employees, visitors ... everybody has an impact."

National Energy Action Month was recognized by presidential proclamation Sept. 30. Throughout October, the Army will focus on "Energy Awareness equals Action" as a means to educate and inform Soldiers, civilians and family members on taking action by becoming more aware of the impact energy security has on the Army's mission and readiness, the value of private and public collaboration in improving energy performance to achieve security in times of constrained resources, and the Army's vision of power and energy advancements through collaborating and partnering.

Participation is easy, Gibbs said. Simply put, the goal of the campaign is to make people more mindful of how they use, and possibly waste, energy.

"Shut off lights when you're leaving an area vacant," Gibbs said. "Make sure doors and windows are closed, or not even opening them at all in air conditioned areas. You can waste a lot of energy that way."

The Army is collaborating across installations, implementing Net Zero initiatives and large-scale renewable energy projects through the Energy Initiatives Task Force. It is also continuing to leverage corporate, industrial, private and public core competencies in developing renewable energy sources, creating new energy efficiencies, and securing third-party funding to drive efficiencies.

Here are ways people can help reduce energy use on Fort Jackson in October, and throughout the rest of the year:

* Computers monitors should be turned off every day when not actively in use. If the equipment is Energy Star rated, as required by statute and regulation, then it has a sleep mode. If the sleep mode is activated after 20 minutes of inactivity, then the equipment is not required to be turned off when not in active use.
* Stop idling government vehicles when unattended or waiting for more than 30 seconds.
* Turn off interior lights in all unoccupied areas, even when you intend to return immediately.
* Scanners, copy machines, faxes, printers and other office equipment should be programmed with sleep modes to activate automatically when not in use.
* Use setback temperatures on all heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, including window air conditioners. For heating, the thermostat should be set at 68 degrees. For cooling, the thermostat should be set at 76 degrees.
* Turn off all outside lights during the day. Guardhouses, access points, gas stations, maintenance areas and storage areas are common locations where outside lighting is left on during daylight hours because of lack of attention, education and consequences.
* Doors and windows between conditioned spaces and non-conditioned spaces should not be rigged to stay open. Heating and cooling of entry areas should be eliminated except to prevent freezing of pipes in those areas.Thermostats for heating of vestibules should be set at no higher than 45 degrees and, in most cases, can be set at 40 degrees where the weather stripping is properly installed for entry doors.
* Remove all incandescent lights from the installation.
* Eliminate and remove all extra refrigerators, microwaves, coffeepots and other appliances that service only one or two people, except as permitted.
* Install or replace all weather stripping on every entry way where a gap or light is visible. Caulk all joints, window frames, door jambs and any entry points from the outside of the building.