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NAPLES, Italy — If the parking lots are darker and the offices cooler, it's because Navy bases worldwide are adhering to calls for more energy conservation.

The Navy Installations Command has directed all shore bases to save energy through what is called the Utilities Common Output Level, officials said. Among differences sailors will see and feel are changes in office temperatures.

Under the current level, which is COL 3, building temperatures must be set at a maximum of 68 degrees in the winter, and minimum of 78 degrees in the summer, said Cmdr. Greg Zielinski, assistant regional engineer for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe.

There are four levels, with COL 4 being the most drastic or severe, Zielinski said.

Not all bases must adopt the same conservation tactics, as operational needs differ from base to base, said Lt. Adam Perrins, the utilities manager for the facilities command.

At Naval Support Activity Naples, for example, public works also is reducing external lighting in areas such as the Navy Exchange parking lot, and some walkways that are not often used, director Capt. Don Campbell said in a message published in the base newspaper.

"Additionally, you can help this effort greatly by turning off room lighting in unoccupied spaces both at work and at home," Campbell wrote. And because the base has reduced janitorial services, he encouraged people to make sure "things aren't dirtied unnecessarily because in some cases, it may be up to a week before the service is provided again."

The recent directive comes on the heels of President Bush's call in September for the federal government to find ways to conserve energy, particularly following the devastating hurricane season that slammed the United States. Bush's request was in part based on projected increases in fuel costs, Zielinski said.

The COL scale provides the Navy a way to standardize energy conservation at bases around the world, and then a way to measure progress, Zielinski said.

Each month, commands submit "self-assessments," similar to report cards, on what they are doing to conserve energy and how successful those programs are, Zielinski said.

The assessments are sent to CNI.


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