All Saints Lutheran Church has been approved as an ENERGY STAR church effective in 2014. We are one of only two houses of worship in Ohio – with First English Lutheran Church the other – to receive this EPA designation granted to only 48 religious congregations nationwide.
When our recently formed Green Team began the process of investigating ENERGY STAR status with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year, the church already had achieved an energy efficiency rate of 76 percent and since has reached a rating of 80 percent. To qualify as an ENERGY STAR congregation requires a rating of 75 percent.
“We’re just very excited about this designation,” said Pastor Bonnie Gerber. “Slowly but surely, we’re moving ahead. We have a super Green Team who are very motivated and very enthusiastic.”
The congregation will be looking at ways to celebrate and advertise this accomplishment with help from the Energy Stewards program, which the congregation joined earlier this year. This program of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light offers congregations resources to improve their environmental footprints. This fulfills God’s call to be good stewards not only of the Earth but also of the congregation’s financial resources.
American Electric Power and Columbia National Gas offer support for its efforts, including subsidies for energy audits. All Saints conducted a $9,000 Level 2 energy audit in May, which with rebates from the program was free to the congregation. This year, we will offer information to the congregation to how they can receive subsidies to complete Level 1 audits in their homes for a minimal cost.
As a result of our energy audit and looking for ways to be more energy efficient we have set the following in motion:
The Bunn coffee maker will be turned off each day after morning Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and turned on again only as needed. An experiment showed that after cooling down, the machine took only 20 minutes to heat to 200 degrees. This simple change will save energy, money and equipment life.
- The office copier is being turned off at night and when possible put into energy saver mode.
These are some small steps that make a big impact in being stewards of God’s creation.