KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — With Kadena Air Base’s estimated fiscal 2004 utility bill at more than $62 million, the Maintenance Engineer Flight is asking both commands and base residents to pare electricity use.

Ted Cleberg, Utilities/Energy Management chief, said that with more than 33 percent of all electrical energy consumed on base and military housing areas during July, August and September, now is the time to conserve.

Other months, the base pays 17 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity used from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 7 cents per hour for electricity used during during the 11 p.m.-9 a.m. low-usage period. But from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — peak-use hours — of those three heavy-use months, the base is charged 20 cents per kilowatt hour.

Cleberg’s office is urging energy conservation, especially during high-usage months. Were the peak hour usage trimmed just 5 percent, he said, the base would save $1 million.

“We want you to use the energy and use what you need, but what we want to do is give tips on how to be efficient in energy use,” he said.

The biggest “bang for the buck,” Cleberg said, is to pare usage during peak hours. He suggested completing chores such as washing dishes and clothes, or using the stove and oven, during non-peak hours.

“If it’s just as good to do at 4 [p.m.] as it is at 2 [p.m.], then shift your actions,” he said.

Alfred Alderete, energy manager, said he believes people haven’t quite grasped there’s a need to conserve. “Electric energy … doesn’t replenish itself if it’s [generated from] a fossil fuel,” he said. “When you use it, it’s gone.”

Cleberg said enough energy should be available to meet demand; the rub will be paying for it. The base’s utility bill is a “must pay,” he said. If energy costs go over budget, the extra money must be taken from elsewhere, he said.

“It means somebody is not going” on temporary duty orders, “somebody isn’t getting a new tool or somebody isn’t getting training they need,” Cleberg said.

Energy conservation

Tips for saving energy at home:

¶ Avoid running washer/dryer/stove during peak hours of 1 to 4 p.m.

¶ Turn up your thermostat to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius — you’ll save 3 percent of electric usage per degree.

¶ Wash or replace air conditioning filters every two months.

¶ Keep window shades down and blinds closed, especially on the sun side.

¶ Don’t run bathroom exhaust fans all day.

¶ Report all air conditioner problems. Call 634-4663 for housing maintenance.

Tips for conserving electricity in the workplace:

¶ Program your computer to shut the monitor off when not in use.

¶ Turn off all lights when no one is in the office — during lunch and at the end of the day.

¶ Turn off all exhaust fans in air-conditioned areas — the fans will push cool air out of the facility, causing the air conditioner to run more.

¶ Keep window shades down and blinds closed, especially on the side facing the sun.

¶ Report all offices that are too cold or hot for air conditioner adjusting. Call 634-3414, Kadena Air Base only.

Source: Maintenance Engineer Flight, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

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