Energy awareness saves money at work, home

Across the country, various Federal and state agencies are encouraging Americans to reduce use of electricity when possible and to increase awareness of environmentally friendly power sources, like wind, solar and thermal.

By MASTER SGT. CHRISTIAN MICHAEL, Air Reserve Personnel Center

As temperatures begin their descent into winter in Colorado and across the United States, heating costs will rise. If you hope to save money, learning to use energy more efficiently might be the only way to avoid the heating bill bite.

October is National Energy Awareness Month. Across the country, various Federal and state agencies are encouraging Americans to reduce use of electricity when possible and to increase awareness of environmentally friendly power sources, like wind, solar and thermal. The Air Force is committed to energy reduction, both in the mission and to raise awareness for members at home.

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At a three-day Air Force Association Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept. 17, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy Dr. Kevin Geiss spoke about making every effort, however minor, to conserve energy, improve force efficiency and effectiveness.

“The best way to do that is to get better at every single flight we make, every sortie making it more energy efficient and getting more productivity out of every gallon that we use,” Geiss said, adding the Air Force’s record is proving itself. “At the end of the day when you look back at 2012 we not only hit that ten percent, but exceeded it.”

Improving energy awareness saves fuel for more missions, money for keeping Reserve units staffed, civilians employed and reduces waste. That’s important on the flightline and the frontline, but it’s also great for saving money on the homefront. From the U.S. Department of Energy “EnergySavers” pamphlet available from energysavers.gov, here are a few quick tips on how you can save energy at home.

  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Turn off powered devices when you are not in the room, from main appliances to home electronics such as TVs – don’t forget the power strip, too!
  • Lower your water heater thermostat to 120°F
  • Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Air dry clothes
  • Ensure windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home
  • Avoid aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration and braking as it wastes fuel

Whether you save energy and money at home, or work hard to help the Air Force improve use of available energy resources for Airmen on mission around the world, it has a positive impact.

“We, in the Air Force, don’t care about energy for energy sake,” Geiss said. “We care about energy because it enables every single mission of the Air Force to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.”

Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore, Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs, contributed to this article.

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