Our Power Wise energy efficiency program continues to connect with Georgia congregations committed to the faithful care of Creation. We’ve performed 18 energy audits so far this year, helping faith communities identify changes they can make to reduce their carbon footprint and use their resources more wisely.
One of our most recent energy audits took place at Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody. Gary Gabriels, LEED-certified engineer, led the audit, working closely with Roby Price, facility manager at St. Luke’s.
After a review of the property’s layout, Gary toured the facilities with Roby, physically inspecting areas that could be tweaked or upgraded to lessen the church’s energy usage. Gary made careful note of the findings, so that he could prepare a report with Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) for Saint Luke’s to pursue. (Remember, GIPL has funds to help with the cost of ECMs!)
Here are a few of Gary’s ECM suggestions based on his findings:
• Replace the existing thermostats with WiFi units. Energy savings is achieved by more precise temperature control, better setpoint management (especially during unoccupied heating hours), and better management of time of day scheduling.
Annual savings: $2,786
• Switch from 32 watt lamps to 25 watt lamps. Making this simple change reduces energy consumption by 22 percent while only reducing lighting output by 14 percent.
Annual savings: $1,288
• Replace T12 light fixtures with T8 Light fixtures. T12 fixtures have a lamp diameter of 1.5 inches. The T8 fixtures’ smaller size reduces energy consumption by 45 percent while reducing lighting output by only 31 percent.
Annual savings: $563
St. Luke’s energy audit report included many other ECM suggestions, such as:
- Cleaning HVAC coils once a year, which decreases energy usage and increases service life.
- Consider retrocommissioning the Building Automation System that controls the HVAC systems to improve performance.
- Make any future HVAC equipment purchases Energy Star-rated choices.
- Set office equipment including computers, monitors and printers to enter low-power mode after 15 minutes of inactivity.
- Educate congregants about the importance of energy smart building use (turning off lights, using heating and air wisely, etc.)
- Ask utility company if they have a “rider” to the utility rate that counts weekends as off-peak periods.
We’re excited about Saint Luke’s momentum toward more conscious earth stewardship! We’ll continue to support them as they implement changes to their space.
To date, GIPL has awarded $720,211 in matching grant funds to help congregations make the necessary energy efficiency upgrades that would otherwise be cost prohibitive.
Are you ready to take the Power Wise plunge? It’s easy — start here by requesting an energy audit for your faith community. You can also contact us at 404-377-5552 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.