Saving watts: Commissaries highlight products that conserve energy
FORT LEE, Va. – Military commissaries are highlighting energy-saving products during October as the Department of Defense observes National Energy Action Month.
Energy Action Month promotes sustainability and energy efficiency, while encouraging the smart use of resources including energy, water and transportation. It helps bring attention to energy usage, and encourages development of lasting energy efficiencies.
This October, commissaries are promoting energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs as well as high-efficiency (HE) dish and laundry detergents.
“It’s important that our patrons know the commissary can help them save even more when they decide to cut energy costs with energy efficient lighting,” said Matthew Perry, a marketing and mass communication specialist at the Defense Commissary Agency’s headquarters at Fort Lee, Virginia. “We have competitive prices and a wide selection of LED bulbs. And they’ll save on laundry costs as well, with great prices on high-efficiency detergents from the top brands.”
Energy conservation isn’t just for patrons. DeCA saves appropriated funds by implementing energy-efficient features in stores, said Kyle Seiling, DeCA’s energy program manager.
“DeCA has been a leader when it comes to energy conservation,” Seiling said. “In our stores, we are replacing less-efficient lighting with natural light and LED bulbs, and we now use glass doors on most of our refrigeration cases.
“We use heat discharged from our refrigeration systems to supplement heat in our HVAC and hot water systems,” he added. “We also de-humidify our sales areas to save energy on our refrigeration systems, and at some locations, we are testing newer refrigeration technology and natural refrigerants to protect the environment and conserve energy.”
DeCA’s energy-saving leadership is paying off. According to Seiling, when compared to commercial supermarkets, commissaries are about 40% more energy efficient, and their annual water usage has been reduced by 30% from 2007 levels.
The agency also promotes various conservation-minded products year round, Perry said. “DeCA has participated in Earth Day celebrations in April for years, and we’ve taken the lead as a retailer in promoting high-efficiency cleaning products and LED lightbulbs to encourage our customers to adopt their use, as well as to satisfy customers who have requested their availability in our stores.
“We also carry products with reduced packaging including bathroom tissue and paper towels without the inner cardboard tubes,” Perry said. “And we use highly visible positioning in stores to promote reusable shopping bags for our customers to purchase.”
For more information on National Energy Action Month and simple ways to reduce your energy usage, visit the Department of Energy’s Energy Saver site.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.