Stay cool while conserving energy

Stay cool while conserving energy

by by Airman 1st Class Stephen G. Eigel, 18th Wing public affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- With the temperature rising and air conditioning now blowing , it's time to start thinking about energy conservation on Kadena.
Energy conservation is important here, especially considering that turning on the base's central air conditioning increases energy costs by $4000-$6000 per day.

"Housing is around 50 percent of the base energy cost," said Mike Gilbert, 718th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager. "Air conditioning is the number one user of that energy and so it's the number one place we should conserve." Because housing consumes so much energy, it's important to know the best ways to conserve.

"The best temperature for thermostats to be set is 76 degrees Fahrenheit," Gilbert explained.

Although 76 degrees Fahrenheit is the installation policy set temperature, housing residents do not have to set their thermostats to this temperature. However, setting temperatures lower and higher could result in mildew and higher energy costs, he added.

Another way to conserve energy is not doing high-energy activities during peak hours.

"We try and let people know to refrain from doing high-energy activities from 1-4 p.m. during June, July, and August because it costs 20 percent more," Gilbert said. "By just saving during these times we can cut a lot of costs leaving funding for other mission essential projects."

While keeping these "peak" hours in mind there are many ways to conserve energy other than controlling the temperature at which your air conditioner is set.

"Turn stuff off before you go or TSO B4 U GO is a very good way to save energy," Gilbert said.

TSO B4 U GO is one of the best ways to conserve energy and also keep your home cooler.

"Turn off appliances, televisions, lights, air conditioners, fans, computers and other electronics when not in use," added Dan Sherrill, 718th Civil Engineer Squadron base resource manager. "Turning these things off before you leave the office for the weekend or go to the beach or even back to the states for leave are important to conserving energy."

Conserving energy should not require any drastic lifestyle changes.

"To me it's counterproductive to affect other people's lifestyles while trying to save energy," Gilbert said. "I want to save energy without anyone knowing I'm even doing it."

A few more ways to conserve energy include cleaning your air conditioning filters every 30 days to improve air flow and quality and avoiding cooking or doing laundry during the hottest times of the day.

"Being aware and the effort of individuals is the best way to conserve energy and lower costs," Dan said.

Energy awareness combined with the individual efforts of residents will strengthen our ability to shift funding to other needed projects, which can improve the quality of life and help keep us from more stringent limitations on water and energy use.

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