By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterOctober 9, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Oct. 9, 2012) -- People find different ways to cut costs and save money from clipping coupons while grocery shopping to hitting the sale rack at local department stores, but Directorate of Public Works officials want to show people how to save money while helping out the environment.
This year's Fort Rucker Energy Expo returns for a second time to the Festival Fields, Oct. 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to do just that -- educate people on ways to be more energy efficient, not only on post, but in their daily lives, according to Candy Vaughan, DPW branch chief of utilities and energy management.
"We're going to be bringing in different exhibitors who will have different kinds of technologies and energy saving ideas for homes, offices or even commutes," said Vaughan. "They will have things on display from LED lighting to electric cars."
There will also be exhibits by energy service companies that specialize in energy-efficiency projects, including Alabama Power, who will return with its all-electric Tesla roadster, said Tony King, resource efficiency manager for DPW.
"The car is pretty neat," he said. "It has regenerative braking, so when you take your foot off the gas, it sees that drop in demand and captures that rotational energy and puts it back into charging the battery. It's all really neat stuff to see -- cutting edge stuff. [The expo] will showcase the kind of things that people hear about all the time, so this is their chance to actually come out and see it."
A new addition to the expo this year is the involvement of Fort Rucker Elementary School.
"They will have exhibits of their own and that should be really exciting to see," said Vaughan. "Last year, they had their own event, so we decided to team up this time and have one large event."
Vaughan said the purpose of the expo is to educate people on Fort Rucker to be aware of energy waste, whether it be leaving a light on when they leave a room or opening a window when they have the air conditioner running.
"Saving energy saves money," she said. "Whether it's at your own home or at the office, that's our job here [at DPW]. Anything that we can do to educate people and make them more conscious of the energy they use is a good thing."
King also stressed that people's involvement in energy saving is crucial to helping Fort Rucker meet its goals.
"The bottom line is you can design the best energy-efficient building possible, but if the occupants don't use it as it was intended, then that design is partially negated," said King. "Occupant understanding and awareness is important, and it's the behavioral part of energy management that is the hardest part to get a hold of."
Fort Rucker spends about $12 million a year on electricity and it's DPW's job to cut that cost by three percent annually.
"There is a lot of room to save there, so every little bit helps," she continued. "That's why we've got to reach out to all the people on the installation that are using energy and get them on board with us."
For more information, call (334) 255-0494.