BeGreenMinded

Houses of Worship Earn a New Star

church_in_new_englandFaith-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.

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One comment on “Houses of Worship Earn a New Star

  1. Sandy Lenthall
    October 25, 2009

    Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA designed a 7 week course on the environment and stewardship of the earth. It has been well planned, extremely well presented and attracted many participants. The effort is two fold, looking at our own church and how we can improve and learning about our personal responsibilities in the community and in the world…how we can respond. Communities of faith are slow in coming to the vision that they are a critical component in the educational and action process of moving forward.
    Thanks for your post. I’m forwarding it to the Chair of our program.

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