In honor of Energy Efficiency Day, we're sharing the story of how one congregation put faith into action through energy efficiency so they could spend less on energy and more on mission:
Back in 2004, Ellis Burns, Deacon and Facilities Director of Victorious Believers Ministry (VBM) in Saginaw, looked into changing the church lights to something more energy efficient. But he hesitated when he calculated the retail price of an upgrade. At that time, “the cost of switching to LEDs was through the roof,” Burns said.
But in 2018, Mr. Burns discovered the discount and rebate programs available to the church, which would significantly reduce the cost and put that lighting upgrade within reach.
VBM took advantage of Consumers Energy rebates to replace the old 400 Watt Mercury Vapor lights with 54 Watt LEDs in the parking lot and the gymnasium—some of the largest spaces in their 50,000 sq ft facility. They also upgraded the lights in the sanctuary. All in all, they replaced a total of about 100 lights across the three spaces. When all the old lights were switched on, Mr. Ellis Burns said it felt like “turning on a microwave.” Now, the spaces feel clean and bright, without the excess heat created by the old, inefficient fixtures.
For upgrading parking lot lighting, Consumers Energy offers up to 100% of the costs covered through rebates, and can install motion sensors that activate the lights after dusk. Not only did the new lights use 87% less energy than the old ones, the parking lot lights also gave the church the additional benefit of increased security.
Pastor Christopher V. Pryor of the Victorious Believers Ministry has always been conscious of caring for God’s Creation and talked about how using less energy is impacting the church’s mission work. “I think as a Christian, God has given us the opportunity to take care of this Earth,” Pastor Chris said. “We’ve been doing family drives and initiatives to talk to children about how they can save water. It's been a tremendous blessing for our church to have this opportunity.”
Victorious Believers Ministry is planning on converting their entire energy system to LED and will put those savings back into its ministry. “Thank God for this program,” Mr. Ellis Burns commented. “It's efficient, it’s effective, and we encourage anyone to use it while it’s being offered.”