Commissaries support National Energy Action Month
Energy-saving products are available in commissaries at extra savings during October in partnership with DOD’s observance of National Energy Action Month.
Through Nov. 5, the Defense Commissary Agency is promoting energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs as well as highly efficient (HE) dish and clothes detergents.
“Our commissaries are partnering with DOD to get the word out about the benefits of conserving energy and using energy-efficient products,” said DeCA’s Acting Director and CEO Michael J. Dowling. “Throughout October, our patrons will see signs pointing to these products at special savings.”
Commissaries are following the Defense Department’s lead in energy conservation. For example, from Oct. 12-15, DOD is hosting the Pentagon Energy Security Event at the Pentagon showcasing exhibits from the military and industry.
“Whether at the Pentagon or at home, conserving energy reduces costs and contributes to the country’s energy resiliency,” said Sallie Cauthers, DeCA’s marketing and mass media specialist. “We want our patrons to know their commissaries can help them save on their energy efficient products.”
Energy conservation isn’t just being promoted to patrons. Commissaries are also doing their part to save appropriated funds by being more energy efficient, said Kyle Seiling, DeCA’s energy program manager.
“DeCA is proactive in energy conservation,” Seiling said. “Our stores, as part of DeCA’s long-term energy strategy, now use glass doors on refrigeration cases, LED lighting, and we have begun converting or upgrading our HVAC and refrigeration technology to incorporate natural refrigerants, which protects the environment and conserves energy.”
Although commissaries are energy-intensive facilities, DeCA’s long-term energy strategy is paying off. Its stores managed to reduce electricity usage by 2.5 percent in fiscal 2016. When compared to commercial supermarkets, commissaries are about 36 percent more energy efficient. Also, annual water use has been reduced by 23.6 percent from 2007 levels.
Beyond Energy Action Month, DeCA consistently promotes conservation efforts year round, Cauthers, said.
“DeCA has participated in Earth Day in April for many years, and we have long promoted items such as LED lightbulbs and HE cleaning products to encourage our customers to adopt their use, as well as meet the demands of customers who insist on their availability. We also have products with reduced packaging like paper towels and bathroom tissue without the cardboard tubes. And don’t forget our reusable shopping bags.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends the following top five energy- and cost-saving tips:
- Turn off computers at the end of the day. It costs about 21 cents a day or $75 a year when computers are left on all day
- Use a power strip for electronic equipment (not just computers) and turn it off when not in use – average savings is $100 and up to 12 percent of annual electric bill
- Turn back your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day – average savings is $83 and up to 10 percent annually on heating and cooling bills
- Replace your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR— average savings is $75 and 9 percent on your annual electric bill
- Use the sleep mode and power-management features on your computer – average savings is $30 and up to 4 percent of annual electric bill
For more information on National Energy Action Month, go to the Department of Energy's Energy Saver website.