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Yokota conserves energy
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Unplugging electronics when not in use is one way to conserve energy. To help reduce demand on Japan's power grid, Yokota personnel are encouraged to save energy by turning off lights, unplugging appliances and conservatively using facility heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrea Salazar)
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Energy conservation remains top priority for Yokota

Posted 3/28/2011   Updated 3/28/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Robin Stanchak
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/28/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- As a result of severe damage sustained to power stations during the recent earthquake in northern Japan, the Tokyo Electric Power Company has implemented planned power outages for areas across the country, just one of many region-wide energy saving efforts.

Yokota's goal in assisting during this initiative is to do whatever is needed to help during the country's energy crisis, said Chris Cook, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager.

"TEPCO lost a significant percentage of their energy generation capacity when their facilities were damaged. This means they are unable to supply enough energy to meet the need; thus planned power outages or rolling blackouts must occur. This will allow all regions to have an opportunity to have power, even if for a reduced amount of time," said Mr. Cook.

According to the TEPCO website, peak demand for energy in this region occurs from 6 to 7 p.m.

During this time especially, base residents can help by reducing their use of high energy products like washers, dryers and stoves, said Dave Lochtefeld, 374th CES resource efficiency manager.

"We'll be doing energy conservation as long as they have energy supply problems. We need to share in this response and the burden. Simply put, it's just the right thing to do," Mr. Lochtefeld said.

Employees and residents on base can practice energy conservation not only at work but also at home.

"The biggest thing we've seen here on base for energy conservation is a lot less use of lights being on in office areas and in housing residences," said Mr. Cook. "People are paying more attention to turning them off during daylight hours, so we can save energy that can be used to support other important areas."

Additional measures to help conserve energy in the work center include:
- Using only one copier/scanner/fax machine per office and unplugging it at the end of the day.
- Turning off computer monitors at the end of the day and unplugging those at unoccupied workstations.
- Opening windows and blinds to allow more light in, which will minimize the need for overhead lighting.
- Turning lights off in hallways wherever possible.
- Turning off the light before exiting the restroom.

In the home, residents can decrease their energy use by:
- Turning off lights while away, while minimizing their when at home by only lighting rooms that are being occupied.
- Plugging electronics into a surge protector and switching it off when no equipment is in use.
- Turning off the heat and shutting the doors to rooms that aren't in use, which will keep the heat in areas being used.
- If you live in a housing tower residence, use the stairs rather than the elevator (if possible)
- When opening the refrigerator and freezer, remove all of the needed items at one time. Opening the door repeatedly requires more energy to keep the items inside cold.

People can also reduce the amount of everyday energy they use at home by installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs use about a quarter of the energy of their incandescent counterparts, Lochtefeld said.

"It is our responsibility here at Yokota to support the people of Japan. We are not only guests in their country but we're also their neighbors, and we should do what we can for them."

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