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Photovoltaic panels, or solar panels, are one of the many projects aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to help reduce energy. In addition, Public Works asks that individuals help reduce the base energy bill by using electricity conservatively.

Photo by Cpl. Sarah Cherry

Sustainable energy: This is your bill

5 Sep 2014 | Cpl. Sarah Cherry

Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort has been striving to reduce energy usage and increase energy efficiency, with a goal of 30 percent reduction by 2015.

Projects to reduce the energy use of the base include geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, and targeting the barracks for energy reduction.

“Every little bit helps,” said Neil Tisdale, energy and utilities manager for the Air Station.

Public Works has put a lot of time and energy into decreasing the energy used by the Air Station, and now it’s the Marines’ turn. Every bit of energy used on the Air Station contributes to the bill, and should be used wisely and conservatively.

The barracks account for 25 percent of the square footage of the base with utility usage. Barracks are occupied by single Marines and sailors aboard the Air Station.

“By unplugging unused phone chargers, turning off unnecessary lights, and being cautious of water usage we can lower the Marine Corps’ energy bill,” said Tisdale.

Here are some things that everyone can do to help reduce the energy bill, according to the Public Works office.

1. Keep doors and windows closed when heat or air conditioning is on. Report any air leaks to the outside, including missing weather stripping.

2. Report excessive heating or cooling settings. The standard Base set points are 68F for heating and 78F for cooling.

3. Turn lights off whenever you leave a room. Report any lights frequently left on.

4. Turn off overhead lighting and use natural day light or task lighting whenever possible.

5. Report any over-lit areas to Public Works.

6. Don’t leave water running when washing hands, parts, equipment, dishes or anything else.

7. Report any energy and water waste that is outside of your ability to correct.

8. At the end of the day turn off all lights, computers, monitors, computer speakers, copiers, printers, shredders, fax machines, coffee makers, and anything else that doesn’t need to be running.

“The most energy efficient items in your room are the ones that are off,” said Bill Rogers, energy management technician.

So far this year, the Air Station has met many energy goals including lowering greenhouse gases and decreasing fossil fuels, and exceeded water conservation goals.

Renewable energy goals for this year have not yet been met, “but it’s entirely possible that we will [meet them] soon,” said Tisdale.
“Renewable energy has been difficult, because it’s very expensive. We’re working with Headquarters Marine Corps’ Renewable energy office to improve,” said Tisdale.

Currently, the Air Station is 28 percent below the 2003 baseline set for energy, 37 percent below the baseline set for water and 66 percent below the baseline set for fossil fuel.