When Greater Christ first received its energy assessment in 2011, the church’s energy costs were almost 30% more per square foot than other houses of worship in this part of Michigan. After participating in our DTE Energy Efficiency for Houses of Worship pilot program and then using some of their own funds to make additional upgrades, Greater Christ dramatically reduced their energy usage and bills. Now an ENERGYSTAR certified building, their energy use puts them in the top 25% percent of buildings ranked in terms of energy efficiency. The Church’s pastor, Dr. James C. Perkins, is enthusiastic about new, energy-saving technology and helped the facility undertake numerous energy
and cost-saving measures.
- With these upgrades, Greater Christ’s annual gas use decreased by 11%
- Their overall utility cost went down by 16%
- Replaced most incandescent bulbs with fluorescents, including the pendant fixtures in the sanctuary. Even with the CFL bulbs, the fixtures still have the same traditional look and feel!
- Upgraded to an LED message board on the outside of the building. This saves energy and has better visibility.
- Like many older churches, all of Greater Christ’s windows are single pane. In addition, the windows on the second floor had suffered some water damage and some were cracked. These windows had the most air leakage and were covered with plastic window kits.
- The building had many leaky faucets. These were fixed and water-saving aerators were installed.
- The boiler system already had programmable thermostat, however, this was set to 73 degrees every day during winter. It was recommended that the church modify this setting to 68 or 70 degrees and adjust the schedule to match building use.
- The church replaced its 10+ year old boiler with a new more efficient model which, while it was a more expensive upgrade item, created big savings.
- The church had the water heater tank and pipes insulated.
- All exterior doors were weatherstripped.
Getting an energy assessment and having a professional contractor go through the initial upgrade process with them not only helped Greater Christ reduce their energy use and expense significantly, they also have been able to use what they learned in that process to make energy efficiency changes in their administrative building.
Spending less on utilities means that they get to devote more to their ministry, including their food pantry and job access center. Way to go, Greater Christ!