ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- October is National Energy Awareness Month.

In honor of this, Brian Freeman of the depot's Directorate of Public Works appeared on The Morning Show Oct. 9 to discuss ways installation employees can save energy and, therefore, money at work and at home.

Freeman said the depot used 116,000 megawatts of electricity in 2012, about enough to power 40,000 homes.

Over the last several years, in an effort to reduce the installation's power usage by at least 30 percent, the depot has installed ground-coupled heat pumps, which use water from deep wells to regulate building temperatures; as well as energy-efficient lighting and solar water heaters.

But there is still work to be done.

Freeman outlined a few basic things everyone can, and should, do to conserve energy, such as using entering and exiting a building through the appropriate door.

"Be careful with the doors in air conditioned spaces," he said. "If there is a personnel door available, use it."

He also asked employees to consider the lighting needed for a task and only use what is appropriate.

For example, he said, during night shift work, don't illuminate an entire building when only a portion of it is in use.

Additionally, during the day, he encouraged employees to turn off lights in unused areas, such as breakrooms and restrooms.


How to reduce energy consumption

from the Natural Resources Defense Council

Follow these energy-saving tips to help fight air pollution, global warming and your skyrocketing electric or natural gas bill.

Easy, free energy-saving habits

1. Unplug: Unplug seldom-used appliances, like an extra refrigerator in the basement or garage that contains just a few items. You may save around $10 every month on your utility bill.

Unplug your chargers when you're not charging. Every house is full of little plastic power supplies to charge cell phones, PDA's, digital cameras, cordless tools and other personal gadgets. Keep them unplugged until you need them.

2. Set computers to sleep: Enable the "sleep mode" feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu.

3. Use appliances efficiently: Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Use the power-save switch if your fridge has one, and make sure the door seals tightly.

Wash only full loads in your dishwasher, using short cycles for all but the dirtiest dishes. This saves water and the energy used to pump and heat it.

4. Turn Out the Lights: Don't forget to flick the switch when you leave a room.