Base hones energy saving skills during Energy Awareness Month

7 Oct 2011 | Cpl. Damany Coleman

On Sept. 13, 1991, former President George H.W. Bush proclaimed October as Energy Awareness Month. Every year since then, the month is used to disseminate energy awareness information and celebrate some of the good things being done to promote effective energy usage.

On Aug. 13, 2009, the Gen. James T. Conway, then the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps, declared energy a top priority for the Marine Corps. Months later, Conway created the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy office with the mission to “analyze, develop, and direct the Marine Corps’ energy strategy in order to optimize expeditionary capabilities across all war fighting functions.”

The Corps’ Expeditionary Energy Strategy office is the Marine Corps framework that communicates the CMC’s vision, mission, goals and objectives for expeditionary and installations energy.

“As a Corps, we have become more lethal, yet we have also become increasingly dependent on fossil fuel,” said Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Our growing demand for liquid logistics comes at a price. By tethering our operations to vulnerable supply lines, it degrades our expeditionary capabilities and ultimately puts Marines at risk. To maintain our lethal edge, we must change the way we use energy.”

During a recent visit, officials with the National Defense University worked with base personnel to conduct a study to identify the needs and requirements for a Department of the Navy-wide energy change. Also, the study is designed to create an energy campaign and to work with installation personnel on how to change their energy usage behaviors.

For the service members aboard the base, here are a few energy conservation and efficiency measures to use at work and lead by example with smart energy choices:

- Always use compact fluorescent lights in desk lamps as opposed to incandescent lights.

- Switch off all unnecessary lights.

- Use natural lighting when possible.

- When working late, use task lighting to directly illuminate work areas.

- Unplug equipment that drains energy even when not in use such as cell-phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers, desktop printers and radios.

- If possible, turn off your office equipment and computer monitors at the end of the work day.

- Use efficient energy saving products.

- Close or tilt window blinds to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs during warm months.

- Photocopy only what you need.

- Always use the second side of paper, either by printing on both sides or using the blank side as scrap paper.

- Carpool, bike or use mass transit when commuting to work.

- To save gas, drive the speed limit, accelerate and decelerate slower, and make sure tires are inflated.

- Use durable coffee mugs instead of disposable cups.

Ensign Walter Anderson, assistant public works officer with the Public Works Division, MCB Camp Lejeune, said there are several new events going on this year to promote energy awareness.

“We have the Energy fair on Oct. 14, a poster contest with Marine Family Programs and we’re going to have a luncheon,” Anderson said. “On (Oct. 31), we’re trying to have a Lights Out campaign where we’re going to suggest that people turn out their lights for two hours during the day. Also, during that evening, it will be Halloween, so it kind of builds upon the holiday.”

Anderson said that at the end of the month, after all of the energy awareness events, PWD is hoping service members and families will submit short stories or ideas illustrating some of the things they did during the Lights Out campaign.