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News > Smart power strips assist with conserving energy
Smart power strips assist with conserving energy

Posted 3/19/2013   Updated 3/21/2013 Email story   Print story


by Jenny Gordon
Robins Public Affairs

3/19/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A total of 8,850 smart power strips are in the process of being distributed to as many offices as possible across Robins as part of ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption and cost.

As of last week, fewer than 500 power strips were left since distribution began March 1.

The response has been positive and quick, according to Dave Bury, 78th Civil Engineer Group base energy manager.

Air Force Materiel Command Headquarters purchased more than 77,000 power strips, designed to reduce energy consumption through automation. The quantity was spread throughout 11 AFMC bases. Although the power strips won't be distributed to every computer work station here, many administrative areas will be able to take advantage of the savings.

Working with Terry Stewart from the 78th Communications Directorate, instructions were drawn to assist personnel with installing and using the new strips. Basically a strip, which comes with a 12-foot cord, will assist with automatically shutting down a second computer monitor, any cubicle task lighting and computer speakers once the strip senses no computer activity is taking place.

The strip can be manually operated by using the power switch on the monitor selected to be the control for the strip -- for example, if someone has stepped away from their desk for 10 minutes, gone to a meeting or lunch.

Devices with heating elements, such as space heaters or coffee pots, are not to be plugged into the power strip. New smart strips must be plugged into a wall outlet, not another power strip.

Bury said by using the new power strips the base could experience an estimated-energy cost savings of $50,000 yearly.

"We don't need computers, fans and lights on when we're not here. These strips were relatively inexpensive and can help change the culture," he said. "That's our biggest opportunity to save energy."

"All you have to do is push a button and go home," he added. "You've done your part which is really important. While individuals don't control a lot of energy - collectively it adds up."

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