FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Whether you work on Fort Jackson, live in government quarters or own a home off post, saving energy, conserving water and recycling can be to your advantage and best interest.

For those who live on post, although those advantages -- lower utility bills -- may not be immediately obvious, there are still benefits. Because each installation has a fixed budget, each dollar saved through energy or water conservation is a dollar that can be used elsewhere.

Title 10 of United States Code 2865, Energy Saving at Military Installations, allows our installation to retain two-thirds of the money saved through its energy conservation efforts for use in quality-of-life programs, family housing, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, and additional energy saving projects.

In order to make this possible, all of us must take an active part in conserving energy and water resources at home and at work and do what we can to protect our environment.

Energy-saving tips:

-- Make use of sunlight to heat and light your rooms.

-- Keep windows and doors closed. Seal off rooms that are not being used. Infiltration around windows and doors is one of the main causes of wasted energy in conditioned spaces.

-- Turn off lights when leaving the room. Do not put in higher wattage light bulbs than required. Remove all incandescent lights.
Prohibit the use of lamps and fixtures that have incandescent lights from offices, maintenance areas and closets. Require existing incandescent bulbs to be replaced with compact fluorescent, fluorescent, LED or Energy Star-rated laminar.
Purchase of incandescent replacement bulbs by units on the installation is prohibited. Use the right light to fit the task.

-- Turn off all appliances and electronics when not in use. Computers and monitors should be turned off every day when not actively in use (Army Regulation 420-1, chapter 22).

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.
However, few computers or monitors are enabled for the sleep mode, even though they have the capability. Disabling energy reducing capabilities in any equipment is waste and abuse of Army resources.

-- Make sure refrigerator door seals are airtight. Eliminate and remove all extra refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots and other appliances that service only one or two people, except as permitted by AR 420-1, chapter 22.
Permit only the quantity of appliances needed for the number of personnel. Remove non-Energy Star appliances from the workplace by requiring all appliances to bear the Energy Star label. Remove non-complying appliances from the facility so that they do not simply move to another office. Prohibit personally owned appliances in the workplace.

-- If you use a space heater, use it safely and be sure to seal off the room.

-- Wash and dry full loads. Do not use too much detergent - use a "suds saver" if you have one. Whenever possible, use cold water for washing. When drying clothes, don't mix heavy and light articles in the same load.

-- Do not leave government vehicles idling for more than 30 seconds. Those who fail to comply will be issued a warning and then a consequence for second and follow-on violations.

-- Scanners, copy machines, faxes, printers and other such equipment should be programmed with sleep modes that activate automatically when not in use. Equipment is required to be Energy Star rated and have a sleep mode by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and AR 420-1.
Purchase of equipment that does not meet Energy Star requirements should have a consequence to the manager and agent who authorized that purchase.

-- Use setback temperatures on all heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, including window air conditioners. If automated controls are not installed, activate procedures for manual adjustment of all heating and cooling equipment at the end of every work day and for any periods an area is unoccupied during work hours (such as locker rooms, lunch and break rooms). Required setback temperatures are found in AR 420-1, chapter 22.

-- 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.

-- Vending machines should be de-lamped whether they are inside or outside. Seek changes to the contracts with vending machine owners to avoid providing utilities to vendors without requiring them to pay a utility charge.

Call for Help
When it comes to saving energy, or protecting the environment, it is a good idea to know where and how to get assistance. Call 751-7684 to report damaged and failed equipment. For more on energy conservation, call 751-3823.