Yokota urges energy cuts to meet budget
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Many of the simple luxuries enjoyed at Yokota Air Base are disappearing as the base, now facing a serious budgetary shortage, tightens its belt.
“We are currently $10 million short in the Fiscal Year 2007 operations program,” wrote Col. Scott Goodwin, 374th Airlift Wing commander, in a Feb. 7 memorandum to all base personnel. “This includes funding for most of the base’s mission support services, recurring contracts, civilian pay and energy. In this environment, we must do all we can to cut expenses — and we must begin now.”
Over $1 million in services and contracts have already been cut or reduced to save the base money, said Maj. David West- over, a Yokota spokesman. This includes cutting janitorial services to public restrooms, and reducing tree and shrub trimming to only when needed.
“One of the most significant areas in which we can save is utilities; specifically electricity and heating fuel oil,” Goodwin wrote in the memo.
Goodwin put forward a list of energy-saving measures designed to cut down on the base’s utility bill. Some of the directives include adjusting thermostats to 65 degrees during the heating season and 75 degrees in the cooling season and removing all personal refrigerators, microwaves and hot plates from offices. The only appliances approved for use are those in designated break rooms.
To help enforce these workplace directives, Civil Engineer Energy Management staff and facility managers will conduct spot checks on nights and weekends.
“Old habits die hard for many people,” said Brian Jarvis, a Yokota resource efficiency manager who helped develop the energy-saving plan.
“Just getting people to turn off the lights when they leave the room will make a difference and save money.”
Jarvis explained that often some of the best ways to save energy are also some of the simplest.
“If you’re going to boil water on the stove, use hot tap water,” he said.
Another simple solution to saving energy on base, explained Jarvis, is tracking where that energy is used. For example, while conducting a recent base energy audit, Jarvis discovered that a vacant building, scheduled for demolition, still had its heating and air conditioning turned on.
“It’s those types of things that are just waiting to be discovered by us,” he said.
Another effort Jarvis is helping with on base is converting the self-help store’s incandescent light bulb supply to more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. The compact fluorescent equivalent of a standard 100 watt incandescent bulb uses about 10 to 15 watts, he explained.
It is the little things like these, along with the cooperation of base residents, that will add up and save Yokota both money and energy, Jarvis said.
To suggest your own energy- saving ideas for Yokota, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.