By Susan C. Galentine
Department of Public Works, specialist in sustainability
FORT CARSON, Colorado – October is Army Energy Action Month, which is linked to National Energy Awareness Month observed across the country. The theme for Army Energy Action Month 2021 is âThe Power to Winâ.
The Army’s energy goal is resilience. Energy resilience means being able to carry out your mission in the face of disasters.
âEfficiency plays an important role in resilience because the most resilient form of energy is the one you don’t need to complete the mission,â said Sean Bogren, Energy Manager, Directorate public works. âFort Carson is a leader in energy and continues to strengthen its energy position through efficiency and redundancy. “
Although Fort Carson derives much of its energy from renewable sources like solar and hydroelectric power and continually seeks to expand its renewable energy portfolio, the overall annual utility costs are significant.
In fiscal 2020, Fort Carson paid approximately $ 22.8 million – an average of $ 62,400 per day – for the use of electricity, natural gas, and water. Soldiers and personnel are essential in helping the facility reduce utility costs and meet energy and water targets.
The following information, published with the permission of Colorado Springs Utilities, provides useful information for members of the Fort Carson community to help them reduce their energy costs in October and throughout the year.
Top 10 Tips Under $ 10
Being more energy efficient doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Colorado Springs Utilities, Fort Carson’s utility provider, made it easy by creating a list. Small changes in energy behavior can result in large overall energy savings.
- Lower the thermostat in winter and raise it in summer.
In winter, keep thermostats at 68 degrees at home and put on a sweater if it’s cold, and at 60 degrees when people are not home or sleeping. During the summer, set the air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees when you are at home and 85 degrees when you are away. (Fort Carson Energy Policy: Facility temperatures are no higher than 70 degrees for heating in winter and 74 degrees for cooling in summer.) (Free)
- Turn off lights in empty rooms.
On average, domestic lighting represents 10 to 15% of the energy bill. Be sure to flip the switch when leaving a room. (To free)
- Microwaveable, use a toaster oven or grill rather than a conventional oven.
Avoid using a large conventional oven when cooking small portions of food. Microwaves and toaster ovens use much less energy, but cook food just as well. In summer, use an outdoor barbecue. (To free)
- Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry.
Helps conserve the amount of natural gas used to heat the water a dishwasher and washing machine need. People will save not only energy, but also water. (To free)
- Use the sun and window coverings to control the temperature in the house.
Open window coverings on sunny days to let in the sun’s heat. Close them at night or on a cloudy day to keep cold air out. Use drapes, blinds, curtains or shutters on all windows to slow the loss of heat through the glass. (To free)
- Adjust the temperature on the water heater.
Water heating typically accounts for 16% of a home’s energy bill. Set the water heater temperatures not to exceed 120 degrees. (To free)
- Position the furniture in the house for optimal comfort.
Make sure that furniture is placed next to interior walls instead of exterior walls and away from drafts. Avoid blocking heat registers and returns with furniture, drapes or rugs. (To free)
- Seal leaks and cracks, especially around windows and doors.
Poorly sealed homes allow hot air to escape through gaps. Caulking and weatherstripping reduce uncomfortable drafts and lower energy bills. ($ 10)
- Replace old bulbs with LEDs.
By replacing 25% of lights in high-use areas with LEDs, homeowners can cut their lighting costs in half. ($ 3 to $ 7 per bulb)
- Check and replace the furnace and air conditioning filters.
Replace the furnace and air conditioner filters every 30 days to maximize its operating efficiency. A dirty filter makes the equipment work harder to push air through it. ($ 10)
The Springs Utilities website, https://www.csu.org, has a wealth of links to consumer conservation information to help Fort Carson consumers buckle up in their utility belts.