“God calls us to be good stewards of the earth, and we at Central are working in many ways to care for and protect our world.” – Sandra O’Niel, Board of Trustees Chairperson, Central United Methodist Church, Traverse City.
The congregation at Central UMC responded to this call by making energy efficiency a high priority. For the past several years, they have worked diligently to make their 100-year-old building more sustainable and less costly to operate.
To date, they have completed an impressive list of upgrades! They:
- insulated the Sanctuary dome
- installed storms on several windows
- installed new windows in the educational wing
- installed new chapel doors
- installed new rear entry doors
- installed weather-stripping to minimize air leakage
- caulked around windows
- installed higher efficiency boilers
- installed smart controls on the boilers
- recalibrated all thermostats throughout the building
- installed motion sensor lights in most rooms
- use biodegradable paper towel
- take food scraps, egg shells, etc. out of the waste stream, compost them, and use the compost at the community garden that they participate in
- installed an on-site composter
- upgraded approximately 70 fluorescent light fixtures to modern low-power fixtures
- replaced 8 High Intensity Discharge exterior lights with low-power fluorescent fixtures
- placed a photocell on one exterior light that used to stay on all of the time so that it now only comes on when it is dark
- installed motion sensors in exit stairwells so the lights are only on when the stairwells are being used
These improvements were made over the course of a few years in order to spread out the expense. They received bids from several contractors, but their custodians and Creation Stewards Ministry Team were able to complete some of the work themselves. In the hope that these measures would be a catalyst for broader change, they sought to educate members of the congregation about the importance of energy conservation and show by example how it is done.
Michigan IPL thinks you’ve provided a shining example for all of us, Central United Methodist– keep up the good work!