In May 2015, Saginaw’s New Heart United Methodist Church was on the verge of closing its doors. The tiny congregation simply couldn’t keep up with the costs of operating the building.
Today, the church is a hub of community support. Under the leadership of new Pastor Melene Wilsey, New Heart Church is now operating a food pantry, clothing closet, a center for teens, a tutoring program, and a summer sports camp. With equal parts gratitude and wonder, Pastor Melene notes that the church’s growth over the last year and a half has been nothing short of “supernatural.”
While divine intervention works in mysterious ways, one thing is certain: New Heart has seen real financial savings through energy efficiency.
In the nine months since the church installed a new, efficient boiler, the church saved more than $3,000 on its utility bills.
In September of 2015, New Heart received a free energy assessment and lighting upgrade through our Light the Way program, provided by Consumers Energy. (Light the Way is still accepting signups in 2018-- check it out!)
Through this program, 70 bulbs – valued at more than $1,500 – were replaced with ultra-efficient LEDs. With the just efficiency upgrades provided through Light the Way, New Heart expects to save another $750 on energy each year.
A church cannot be sustained through energy efficiency alone. But for Pastor Melene and her congregation, it has helped give New Hope a new, more sustainable, start.