Energy Star Congregation News
Recall that the Vestry agreed to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Congregation Network. This means that St Paul’s has agreed to use EPA’s services and advice to reduce energy use in our church buildings, AND to encourage Parishioners to do the same at home. Here’s our plan.
The big topics on EPA’s check list are lighting, office equipment, water, heating and air conditioning, and kitchen appliances. We will do one of these each month, starting with lighting. Some recommendations are for public buildings, but some apply to your home. As St Paul’s investigates the new ways of conserving energy and the costs for upgrading, we will pass this information along to you so that you won’t have to do the footwork and calculations to consider whether changes are right for you.
We started this month on lighting. Here is the EPA checklist that applies to your home.
- Turn off lights when not needed
- Install compact fluorescents
- Use free daylight from windows
- Don’t over light
- Upgrade from T12 fluorescent 4-ft bulbs to newer T8 bulbs.
One item that is not on the list for your home but we are investigating at St Paul’s is upgrading to new energy saving EXIT signs. Did you know that we have five EXIT signs that are required to be lighted all the time?
About the confusing T12 to T8 fluorescent lighting, the T12 bulbs are the “fat” 4-ft bulbs that we are recycling because they contain mercury. T8 bulbs are “skinnier” and use half the energy. We have 14 fixtures in the ceilings that use 56 fat T12 bulbs. It will cost about $1,200 to upgrade (change ballasts and bulbs), but we’ll save about $200/yr in electrical cost and do our part in reducing the demand for electricity.
Our electricity comes from Missouri River hydropower and coal-fired power plants. By reducing our energy use, we’ll be giving the fish more water in the Missouri River, and reducing air pollution from burning coal.
St Paul’s will be doing our part in Creation Care; please consider doing your part at home.