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Penny-wise practice brings Rosecrans financial bonus

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Rosecrans Air National Guard Base is the recipient of tens of thousands in cash here for its efforts in shrinking its energy bills, civil engineer squadron officials announced recently.

A $25,000 bonus was awarded by the National Guard Bureau this week.

Officials said the base stood out nationwide as a top energy saver.

"You have to reduce electrical and natural gas usage by three percent and water usage by two percent or more, per year," said Doug Cerra, base energy manager. "Bases that exceed that get a bonus."

Cerra helped submit the base for the award.

He credits some of the energy savings to replacement of the base's HVAC systems with more energy efficient models as well as the inclusion of solar arrays, new lighting systems and other basewide energy upgrades.

"But we appreciate everyone's help in saving energy too, turning lights out and doing what they can," he said. "We only do part of the work, and it's really up to everyone on base."

Cerra said there are many executive orders out there that mandate energy reduction for federal buildings. Rosecrans must comply with those orders. Diminishing state and federal budgets are another reason to embrace energy efficiency these days.

Last year, the base was awarded $60,000 for its penny-wise energy practices.

Lt. Col. Grace Link, squadron commander, said the cash helps fund the base sustainment, restoration and modernization program.

"The advantage of a cash award is that it can be put toward things we normally do not have a lot of funds for," she said.