Faith-based activism is certainly in vogue these days so it should be no surprise that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that houses of worship can now earn the Energy Star label.
There are an estimated 370,000 houses of worship across the United States which now can use Portfolio Manager to receive an energy performance rating, and the most energy efficient among them can earn the Energy Star label.
According to the US EPA website, most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30% just by investing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades and maintenance. Worship facilities in the United States spend more than $3 billion annually on energy costs. Improving the energy efficiency of America’s houses of worship by just 10 percent would save nearly 2 billion kilowatt-hours each year, preventing more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and representing a cost savings of about $315 million annually.
US EPA says that if America’s more than 300,000 houses of worship cut energy use by 10 percent nearly $200 million would be saved for congregations’ missions and other priorities. Think that’s all? They also say that more than 5.4 billion kWh of electricity would be available without additional cost and pollution and if that were not enough, more than 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions of about 400,000 cars, or to planting over a half million acres of trees.
Don’t waste another minute reaching out to your house of worship and helping reduce the congregation’s carbon footprint. US EPA has a guide to help members work with their church, synagogue, mosque or any other religious building. With your help, your congregation could be the next to be awarded the Energy Star Congregation label and would be well on your way to reducing greenhouse gases.