Energy: Using watts is spending dollars Published July 23, 2010 By Ed Saleem AFRC ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The term "watt" was coined to honor James Watt, a contributor to the development of the steam engine. It measures the amount of energy being used. We see watts listed on light bulbs, on our utility bill as "kilowatts" (a kilowatt is 1,000 watts), and on any number of machines and appliances. Now, do this: Replace the word "watt" with something closer to home - dollars. Robins pays about 7.2 cents for every kilowatt used per hour. That means a simple 100-watt light bulb, if left on all year - 8,760 hours - costs the base about $63. How many light bulbs do you have in your work area? How many of them are left on when they're not being used? We must leave our work computers on at night, but we can turn off our monitors, wall chargers, and almost everything else that uses watts. In fact, I have everything around me plugged into a power strip I can turn off every night when I leave. As an experiment, look around and count all the watts, or dollars, being spent in your work area. We obviously need watts to do our work, but we can save an incredible amount of money by using only the watts, or spending only the dollars, we absolutely need. For more information on how to save energy, or if you have ideas on how to save energy here, e-mail me at hubert.saleem.ctr@us.af.mil or contact the Robins Energy Office at 926-2848.