ANSBACH, Germany - Saving energy saves valuable dollars.

And in light of economic instabilities, the bottom line is: being responsible and cutting down on energy saves valuable resources that can be applied elsewhere, in addition to being good for the environment and the right thing to do, say U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach officials.

And it is easy.

"Our environment benefits if everybody starts saving energy at the same time," said Regina Kranz, utility engineer and energy manager for the garrison's directorate of public works.

DPW has gone so far as designating the reduction of energy consumption as the most significant environmental aspect for the garrison to target for improvement - for now and the future.

Kranz wants everyone to know that taking a few simple no-cost energy conservation measures - like an internal energy audit - can really pay off.

"Conducting small energy audits within our homes - like turning down the heat, turning off unneeded lights and appliances and closing doors to unused rooms - not only positively impacts our environment, but also has positive economical impacts too," she said.

She said that a home energy audit is often the first step in making homes more energy efficient, can help people assess how much energy their home uses and evaluate what measures they can implement to improve efficiency.

And she offers these simple, no-cost energy conservation measures below.

Kranz said that energy affects every aspect of our lives.

"It gives us light and heat, and provides us with transportation fuel and more," she said. "However, we need to think about the security of our energy supply sources and about the environmental impact of energy produced from fossil fuels."

Finally, Kranz offered a food-for-thought slogan.

"A clean energy future means intelligent use of energy - don't just stand by. Your energy actions will make a difference. Even the smallest contribution goes a long way in making our garrison energy secure."

Five energy saving points to secure a clean energy future:

*CHOOSE ENERGY STAR: Look for the "energy star" label when shopping for new appliances; they show the most energy efficient product, save money and protect the environment.

*MAKE THE SWITCH TO CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lamps): These lamps can be used to reduce energy use and power demand by more than 70 percent, compared to classic ones.


*TURN OFF: Lights and TVs, computer monitors, printers, etc., when not in use or during unoccupied periods of time, and at night when not controlled by a clock.

*SLAY THE ENERGY VAMPIRE: Turn off your power strips or unplug electronics. Power strips can turn off several appliances with the flip of one switch. Your electronics - computer, TV, VCR, phone chargers, etc - use energy even when turned off. Stand-by may use up to 20 percent of the energy used during normal operations.