Los Alamos County Fire Stations Significantly Reduce Energy Usage as a Result of Energy Conservation Competition

Los Alamos Fire Department Flyer: An example of one of the fliers posted in the participating fire stations to promote energy conservation. Courtesy/LAC

Fire Energy Competition Scoreboard: The scoreboard that was posted in each fire house, from early in the competition. Courtesy/LAC

COUNTY News:

After a six-month fire department energy conservation competition that approached the heat and intensity of a five-alarm fire the winner is … Fire Station 4!

Fire Station 4 on Diamond Drive near the Los Alamos County Golf Course, reduced its electricity usage an average of 30 percent per month.

Electricity savings were determined by comparing monthly usage to a four to six year historic fire station average for that same month. 

Over the past six months, Los Alamos County Fire Stations 3, 4, and 6 competed to reduce energy usage. All three stations were successful in significantly reducing their electricity usage. 

Simple behavior changes were the driving force behind the electricity savings realized.

Firefighter Ernesto Polson from the winning station summarized some of the energy conservation actions taken saying, “Every time a room was not being used its lights were turned off, and lights for the day-room are turned off after 8 p.m. Most importantly, each crew member at Station 4 made a conscious effort to utilize less energy every time they saw an opportunity to do so.”   

By coming out on top in electricity savings, Fire Station 4 has won a gourmet meal of meatballs with polenta and a red sauce, to be prepared by County Administrator Harry Burgess and Assistant County Administrators Brian Bosshardt and Steve Lynne, along with help from the County Green Team.

“The competition was incredibly successful; in fact the savings were far beyond what I anticipated. The positive results show the energy saving potential through targeted education and outreach focused on inspiring simple behavior change,” said Tom Nagawiecki from the County Green Team.

Assistant County Administrator, and lead chef for the meal preparation, Brian Bosshardt said, “The winning station certainly earned their meal, and all the stations did a great job in helping save the County money and reducing environmental impacts.”

The competition was implemented by the Los Alamos County Green Team, a collection of County employees interested in helping create a more sustainable County government. 

Throughout the competition the Green Team focused on providing education and outreach to the participating firefighters.

Fliers were posted at the fire stations promoting specific energy conservation measures such as remembering to turn off the lights.

A scoreboard of sorts was posted in each fire station showing the current competition standings.

“The Green Team did a great job of keeping us aware and engaged in the competition,” said David Baca, a firefighter from Station 4. 

Over the six-month competition, the County was able to realize a $2,800 cost savings from reduced electricity usage in the three participating fire stations.  

Los Alamos County is focused on creating a more sustainable County government that can act as a leader in creating a stronger and healthier community.

If you would like to learn more about the County’s sustainability program, visit www.losalamosnm.us/getgreen.

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