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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | Oct. 29, 2013

JBA Energy Action Month events emphasize everyone's role in conserving, cutting utility use

By Michael P. Kleiman Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs

For the past month, you would have needed a lot of energy to keep up with Master Sgt. Chad Stakolosa, a man on a mission to spread the word of conserving and cutting utility usage on Joint Base Andrews.

Serving as the 11th Wing's Energy Action Month lead, he, along with other units' volunteers, has traversed the entire installation publicizing the cause.

From public displays to social media posts to people polling to published stories, JBA has been energized in recent weeks to focus on using energy and water resources wisely.

"Our primary goal in informing the base populace about their vital role in energy efficiency was that each one of us can make a huge difference by turning off a computer monitor when not in use or unplugging an appliance during non-duty hours. Such simple steps can, over time, generate significant utility-cost savings," said Stakolosa, 11th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "For example, if everyone accomplished the former all week long, JBA could decrease direct energy costs by over $4,000 per month or almost $50,000 annually. In these times of financial constraint, such cost-cutting energy measures really helps every dollar count and matter."

During fiscal 2012, JBA achieved $3.1 million in direct energy and water cost savings as compared to the previous months. Fiscal 2013 final data has yet to be released, but Stakolosa and his team have already promoted continued (and increased) savings at four separate outreach events conducted at the base exchange and at the Jones Building respectively, as well as at eight base leadership meetings including an Air Force District of Washington Commander's Call.

In addition, the 11th Wing sponsored a 5K fun run Oct. 15, which garnered nearly 130 participants and 150 spectators. To help drum up support, the AFDW Energy Action Month POC, Lt. Col. Shawn Larcher, even capitalized on the fun run by challenging the HQ AFDW staff directorates to a competition. Each directorate and staff agency fielded a four-person team, and the group with the fastest overall average time earned the distinction of HQ AFDW's "Most Energetic Directorate." AFDW A4/7 finished first (24:03) followed by AFDW A3/5 (24:50) and AFDW/A6 (26:46). A manned EAM display at the race start and finish also provided event attendees with energy-related giveaways, fact sheets and brochures.

If not partaking in the aforementioned activities, base personnel became aware of the annual observance and JBA's energy-efficiency efforts through organizational-all emails. Other EAM publicity methods utilized included posts to the installation organizations' Facebook accounts and articles published on the AFDW and 11th Wing websites.

Other direct promotional methods involved placing 33 EAM posters around JBA and publicly polling 50 people on Andrews regarding their knowledge of the yearly event. Approximately 44 had heard of it.

Nevertheless, like the title of Sonny and Cher's 1967 Top 10 tune "The Beat Goes On," Stakolosa and his unit EAM points-of-contact continue to communicate individual responsibility in curbing utility costs on JBA until they have reached the entire base populace. Not deterred, they remain plugged in to accomplishing the milestone task.

"Although very close to achieving 100 percent awareness base wide of both EAM and JBA's energy-reduction efforts, we must continue to inform all installation personnel on the importance of energy and water conservation not just during October, but throughout the year. We all play a part in ensuring the base's utility cost savings increase and its utility use decreases," said Lt. Col. Shawn Larcher, deputy chief, Civil Engineer Division, Directorate of Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, AFDW A4/7. "The bottom line is that every energy dollar saved equates to another made available for the defense of our country. That is a cause we all should be committed to."

(Editor's Note: This is the final article in a series of four to be published in October in recognition of Energy Action Month, an annual national campaign led by the Department of Energy.)