Energy Action Month is an observance held each October to encourage the Army Installation and Operational energy communities to prioritize energy in everyday decisions. It’s a reminder that secure and reliable access to energy, water and land resources is vital for the Army to perform its mission and support global operations.
As part of Energy Action Month, Fort Bragg’s Energy and Utilities Branch has ordered 17 spin bikes to raise awareness of the physical energy it takes to generate electricity. The first two bikes are located at Hercules Physical Fitness Center.
Those who use the bikes are encouraged to take a picture of the amount of energy they generated and post it to the Fort Bragg Energy Facebook page.
“They can then get a T-shirt that says ‘Turn Down for Watt, I Saved the Army Energy,’” explained Audrey Oxendine, chief, Energy and Utilities Branch, Directorate of Public Works.
The shirt is Army regulation, so Soldiers can wear it as part of their Army Combat Uniform, Oxendine said.
She said her team hopes this exercise will help the community understand the importance of conserving energy.
“People don’t realize when they leave a computer or light on how much energy they’re using. Even keeping a Keuring coffee machine in standby is using electricity.”
For example, it would take a 180 lb. Soldier nine hours of ruck marching to generate enough electricity to charge a cellphone for one hour, according to Oxendine.
She said Fort Bragg’s energy costs are one of the installation’s higher bills at $45 million a year, so paying attention to the electronics used in everyday life is key.
“The less we use, the more secure we are,” Oxendine explained. “We need to streamline our consumption and fine tune it so when we need it, it’s readily available. Every little bit helps — when you turn off a computer or light and wash clothes in warm water.”
Incorporating energy resilience, security, conservation and awareness into everyday decision-making processes saves money and better positions the Army to successfully deploy and rapidly respond whenever and wherever needed.