The United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) collaborated through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Commercial Buildings Research Group to create this workbook.
This workbook serves as a resource and planning guide for clergy, staff, and laypersons of houses of worship who want to increase the energy efficiency of their facilities by implementing realistic and cost effective energy improvement projects. Download the guide and appendices for free below. Be sure to also find out who near you (see map) has become a part of the EPA’s Protfolio Manager program +/or has tried some of these suggestions in their house of worship.
EPA’s Energy Guide for Congregations
Appendices to support EPA Guide
All energy, water, and monetary savings listed in this document are based upon average savings for end users and are provided for educational purposes only. Actual savings will vary based on energy, water, and facility use, national weather data for your locality, energy prices, and other factors. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are calculated based on emission factors reported to the U.S. EPA by the electric utility provider serving your ZIP Code. Data referenced in this document is provided by the U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOE’s NREL
This fall major updates were made to Concordia College’s EcoHouse, a four-person campus residence for students who want to live more sustainably. The home’s aged heating system received an update through the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system. The project commenced in August 2018 and was operational by October.
Concordia has long been interested in utilizing geothermal on campus, so when it was determined that the EcoHouse was a viable candidate for such a system, the administration jumped on the opportunity. A rebate offered by Moorhead Public Service also aided the college in making the project happen.
The geothermal system utilizes four vertical wells that were drilled in the front yard of the house. An environmentally safe antifreeze is pumped through the wells, warmed by the ground heat, and then pumped through a system that transfers the heat into air which is blown throughout the house. In the summer the system will also provide air conditioning by utilizing the cooler ground temperatures.
Having recently signed Second Nature’s Climate Commitment, this project is the first of many steps Concordia will be taking toward carbon neutrality.
Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., has flipped the switch on its 3.9 MW solar array, supplying 30% of the university’s electricity needs.
Built by WGL Energy Systems, the project is employing sheep to help maintain the surrounding grass and weeds. A flock of approximately 30 sheep will come from local Owens Farm in Sunbury starting in April 2019.
At an event to unveil the solar system, Susquehanna President Jonathan D. Green called the sheep “the most environmentally responsible lawn-mowing team of any college or university.” The sheep were also on hand for Wednesday’s event.
“In nine years, we have gone from the Sierra Club’s list of ‘Schools Who Burn Coal’ to the Sierra Club’s list of ‘Cool Schools,'” said Michael Coyne, vice president of finance and administration and co-chief operating officer at Susquehanna. “It hasn’t been easy . . . but as the warnings about climate change have reached a new level of alarm, all that work has proven worth the effort. To shed some light – pun intended – this solar field isn’t our final destination; it’s a milestone along the way to the university being a carbon-neutral campus.”
Read the entire article from Solar Industry.
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Muhlenberg College has been on the forefront of campus sustainability initiatives. Not only do all the new college computer purchases meet EPEAT Gold standards, but energy reduction mechanisms are constantly being introduced.
Most recently, a pilot program to automatically hibernate public computers not in use for more than 10 minutes has been tested. Also, multiple servers have been consolidated into one. Both of these efforts have significantly reduced energy consumption.
Muhlenberg is also considering future expansions of the Green IT program with technology to detect room occupancy to turn off technology when a room is not being used.
Learn more about Muhlenberg Green IT initiatives.
Carthage College practices sustainability by choosing to renovate and build with sustainable building materials. Carthage installs bamboo flooring instead of hardwood flooring, and has chosen this environmentally friendly hardwood alternative since 2001. Bamboo is a renewable resource: Bamboo grass takes only five years to grow to maturity. Other floors at Carthage are Forbo Marmoleum. Marmoleum is made with natural ingredients, contains no harmful VOCs or other toxic chemicals, and is installed with solvent-free adhesives or no adhesive at all. It has no adverse health effects during production, installation, use or disposal, and has been certified as a sustainable product. Furniture in residence halls is made from sustainable plantation-grown wood, not primary first-growth timber or non-plantation grown teak. Also, 50 percent of the turf on Art Keller Field is made with recycled material. For more information about Carthage’s sustainable building practices, click here.
The Roanoke College Garden Club recently relocated the campus garden to a location that is in a more central place on campus. The garden’s new location yielded an excellent harvest this past summer, and the club, with 10 members, is well on its way to creating a wonderful space for the College community. The new garden, 70 feet-by-100 feet, has 13 raised beds. Rather than filling up the garden with more planting space, the next project will incorporate a path that circles the garden.After the path is finished, the club intends to install benches, with room to seat at least 20 people, and compost bins. These projects, slated for next winter, would ideally provide a perfect spot for faculty to bring their classes on beautiful days or for the campus community to relax outdoors when warmer weather returns.The club’s goal for the new space is simple – create a garden over which the campus feels ownership. For more information on this project, how it came about, and who is involved, click here.