Contribution by Alexis Chase – ED and proud member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta
I am a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Our most recent newsletter had the following article. Because I am so proud of St. Luke’s and all of the work they have done to embrace energy efficiency, I thought I would borrow this article for you to read:
Meeting the Challenge
Thanks to the vision and generosity of a parishioner, St Luke’s underwent an Energy Audit in 2006. Four years later, the parish has met – and exceeded – the Governor’s Energy Challenge by shrinking its carbon footprint by a third. That translates into a reduction in energy consumption of more than 18 percent. “We were seeking to be good stewards of God’s creation, so St. Luke’s got an early start on our sustainability initiative with an energy audit in 2006,” said longtime parishioner, Cotten Alston, who has led this effort. “In particular, our energy conservation projects include automatic HVAC controls, high-efficiency lighting, and occupancy sensor lighting controls.”
St. Luke’s received a generous Energy Improvement Matching Grant from Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) in 2007 toward installation of the centralized energy HVAC management control system.
“These efforts, combined with conscientious management by church staff, are saving us more than $36,000 annually,” reports Cotten. “St. Luke’s is also working to meet the goals of Georgia’s Water Conservation Implementation Plan.” Thanks to GIPL’s new Power Wise program, churches and other faith organizations now have a more affordable path to Energy Audits. Through Power Wise, a church can hire GIPL’s professional energy auditors and pay just $300 for a professional Energy Audit!
See, if St. Luke’s can do it, so can you! What are you waiting for? Call us to sign up for Power Wise!
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Tucker, headed by Senior Pastor J. David Kivett, received an Energy Improvement Matching Grant through Power Wise for the amount of $5,000. The grant will be matched by the congregation and will be used to upgrade lighting in the education building to T-5 fluorescent lighting. St. Andrew’s has already undertaken a number of energy efficiency improvements including HVAC upgrades, lighting upgrades in Administration building, use of LED exit signs throughout the building and motion detector sensors for lighting.
Skidaway Island Presbyterian Church in Savannah, headed by Senior Pastor Dr. John R. Wall, received an Energy Improvement Matching Grant through Power Wise for the amount of $3,300. The grant will be matched by the congregation and will be used to selectively upgrade lighting from T-12 fluorescent lamps and incandescent bulbs to more efficient T-8 lamps. In addition, motion detectors will be installed to turn off lights in areas not being used.
On Sunday, September 26, 2010, a special ceremony was held at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Monroe to award them with one of only five 2010 Energy Star® Congregation Awards given by the EPA. Winners are recognized for fighting global warming through effective energy management practices and innovative efficiency solutions.
St Alban’s Episcopal Church, a 50 year old building, received an Energy Audit from GIPL in 2008 and identified a range of potential energy conservation measures in their Energy Audit Report. The church received Energy Improvement Matching Grants from GIPL in 2009 and 2010 to implement these recommendations. Continue reading
Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, headed by Pastor Gary W. Charles, received an Energy Improvement Matching Grant under the Power Wise Program for the amount of $9,063. The grant will be matched by the congregation and will be used to upgrade lighting from T-12 fluorescent lamps to more efficient T-8 lamps in the Campbell Egan Building, the kitchen and the Oglesby Building.
They will funnel money saved on energy costs into their ministries within the Outreach and Advocacy Center, their Night Shelter and other ministries to help local residents. Central Presbyterian Church also has a strong creation care team and their adult education series has highlighted a number of environmental stewardship issues.
Central Presbyterian Church was one of eight congregations that were awarded Energy Improvement Matching Grants in June 2010. Each will be discussed in the GIPL blog over the coming weeks.
The next round of Matching Grants applications are due on November 15, 2010. The application can be found on our website. Up to $25,000 is available to congregations interested in implementing suggestions from their Power Wise energy audits to reduce energy consumption and costs. Congregations must be able to show that they have their matching funds within six months of receiving the grant award, in addition to being a member of Power Wise and having had an energy audit of their facilities.
St. Alban’s Episcopal, which is headed by Father Brent Owens, has been working hard to reduce their energy use. In 2008, the congregation received an energy audit from Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, which helped them develop a staged program of energy improvements. Some improvements were completed in 2009 using an Energy Improvement Matching Grant from GIPL for $5,068. These energy efficiency measures included switching out incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent ones, insulation for many areas of the church building, and other improvements to the church building envelope.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School (IHM) is a non-profit school headed by Principal Tricia DeWitt. The school opened its doors in August 1958. IHM serves 498 students (378 families) from 31 different parishes throughout the Metro Atlanta area with classes from kindergarten to eighth grade. Its students come from diverse backgrounds, 18 percent are non-Catholic, and 17 percent of students receive financial aid. As part of IHM’s teaching programs, students are introduced to environmental stewardship and creation care in the classroom.
The school added a new building in 1969 that included additional classrooms, a library and a gym. In 1971, IHM School became fully accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. With all of the growth associated with the school’s success, buildings have been reconfigured to create classrooms, office space, and computer and science laboratories. Reconfiguring the heating and air conditioning system has not kept up with these changes.
Canon Church of God in Canon, Georgia, headed by Reverend Gary Stewart, received a Energy Improvement Matching Grant under the Power Wise program for the amount of $2,500. The grant will be matched by the congregation and will be used to upgrade windows in the parsonage to improve energy efficiency. Additionally, funds will be used to upgrade several kitchen appliances to Energy Star®.
The Board of Trustees serves as the “Earth Care Team,” and they will host a series of seminars at the church. These seminars will be for parishioners and the community to showcase the church’s energy efficiency improvements, discuss energy conservation, and highlight their commitment to creation care.
First Afrikan Presbyterian Church in Lithonia, headed by Pastor Dr. Mark O. Lomax, received an Energy Improvement Matching Grant under the Power Wise program for the amount of $5,240. This grant will be matched by the congregation and will be used to replace two smaller air conditioning units with Energy Star® rated 13 SEER units. Additionally, all manual thermostats will be removed and programmable thermostats used in their place. Finally, additional insulation will be added to the attic to reduce energy costs.
In addition to education and expanded energy conservation within the church, the Creation Care Ministry Team will design and implement a two-phase home and neighborhood campaign. The first phase will educate and support individual home energy conservation through structured family partnering experiences. In the second phase, the First African Community Action Team will work with existing community partners to identify and disseminate ideas for neighborhood energy conservation.
Two weeks ago, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light conducted our first Energy Audit as a part of our new Power Wise program.
Bob Donaghue, GIPL’s new Power Wise Program Director, and I joined Gary Gabriel from CDH Partners, Inc. at North Springs United Methodist Church in Sandy Springs for the afternoon audit. We met up with Ryan Meres, a church member volunteering to assist the church with their energy issues. We all spent the afternoon poking around the building, checking heating and cooling systems behind locked doors, removing ceiling tiles to examine the ceiling insulation, and even climbing onto the roof to inspect the church’s two heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.