In an effort to reduce our electric bills and our carbon footprint, the Board of Trustees undertook an energy assessment of electrical use in our church building. The Trustees, in cooperation with a ComEd energy engineer, participated in the Smart Ideas program that provides grants to qualified organizations willing to convert to more energy efficient lighting within their building.

In the fall of 2015, we completed an Energy Assessment that included past electrical bills, the amount of energy used in past years, and an extensive list of energy savings changes for our consideration recommended by the Smart Ideas Outreach Team. The Trustees chose changes that were most cost effective and would result in the recovery of our out of pocket expenses in less than five years after grants in the form of credits.

We replaced 130 old ballasts and just under 600 low efficiency fluorescent lamps with new ballasts and highly efficient fluorescent LED lamps in light fixtures located in most areas of the church other than the sanctuary. We also replaced or repaired several light covers in classrooms. Our out of pocket cost for equipment, labor and environmentally appropriate recycling was $8,386. We received $3,047 in credit incentives through the Smart Ideas program for a net cost of $5,339. We are projecting the recovery of our net cost will take less than five years resulting in savings for several years to come.

As a result of these changes in our lighting fixtures, several reminders to building users about turning off lights when leaving rooms, installing some retractable window shades, the installation of motion light switches and better weather conditions, our electric bills for 2016 were over $3,600 less than anticipated.

The Trustees are continuing to participate in the Smart Ideas program that enables us to monitor electrical use monthly as well as cost effective ways to conserve electrical energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

You can make a difference: It is important that all building users turn off lights and close windows when leaving meeting rooms or when you are the last to leave the church. Also, please make sure that the doors are locked and latched.

Last Published: May 3, 2017 9:24 AM