FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- (Nov. 8, 2012) The free Save-A-Watt program on Fort Leonard Wood is helping people on post zero-in on energy waste.

"The concept of the program is to increase awareness of how energy is consumed in our daily activities with the expectation that consumers will alter wasteful practices," said Allen Simpson, Directorate of Public Works, Energy Management Branch chief.

Service members and Families living on Fort Leonard Wood can check out the watt meters, free of charge, at Clarke Library or by visiting Simpson in Bldg. 2222.

"Originally targeted for residents -- barracks and housing occupants of Fort Leonard Wood -- it will lend support to a new Building Energy Monitor Program under development. I don't care to loan devices to others, such as children wanting to do school experiments," Simpson said.

To use a watt meter plug the meter into an electrical outlet, then plug the device into the meter. The watt usage from the meter can be recorded on the energy tracking log in the Save-A-Watt kit. The kit explains how to calculate the cost of operating appliances and electronics over a broad span of time.

According to Simpson, the best way to save is energy is to turn electronic items off and unplug them. This will avoid vampire loads, which continue to draw power even though the product is not in use. Examples of these would be televisions, computers, coffee pots or chargers, basically anything with internal memory or a clock.

"The Save-A-Watt (program) will make consumers aware of what these loads can (or) will cost them. There are reasons for not turning off or unplugging such items after we've used them for their intended purpose. But often you will find that items can be turned off (or unplugged) in lieu of allowing them to go into an energy saving mode," Simpson said. "Incrementally more energy will be saved in 'off' as opposed to energy-saving mode. Such items include computers, monitors, printers and gaming systems. The vampire load will still be present but it won't suck as much power. Unplug chargers."

Simpson said saving energy is about more than cutting a few dollars off your electric bill -- it can have global impact.

"Every little bit matters. We are facing ever-increasing utility costs, depleting resources, a dependence on foreign oil and an associated increase in air pollution. We must change our way of thinking," Simpson said.

For more information on the Energy Management Branch of the Directorate of Public Works visit