A key element on our Green Faith Stewardship requirements list is to inventory what has been accomplished in the area of energy conservation, and identify opportunities for further improvement. A number of such projects have already been completed (installation of LED lighting and pre-programmed thermostatic controls in the Church being a few examples). To further this good work, we recently commissioned a professional energy audit of the Church and the Manse by NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. This assessment was conducted at no charge to us and completed this past February.
We have received 3 comprehensive reports covering the Sanctuary, the balance of the Church facility, and the Manse. Included in each 50+ page document are a number of suggested actions along with anticipated one-time costs, annualized savings and payback periods. Recommendations range from the easily accomplished to major projects. Here is a sampling for the Church:
- Insulate the ceiling cavity above the Sanctuary.
- Install storm windows (not possible for the Sanctuary as it is a historical landmark).
- Conduct annual boiler efficiency testing.
- Reduce building infiltration losses (weather-stripping).
and for the Manse:
- Add more insulation to the attic and basement ceiling.
- Insulate hot water piping.
- Install solar panels.
- Upgrade to LED lighting.
NYSERDA may offer financial incentives and low interest financing if we choose to take on one or more of the major upgrades. As a next step, the Operations Commission will review the reports in detail, identify potential actions and prioritize them. This data will allow us to make informed energy decisions. If you would like more detail don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone on the Operations or GreenFaith teams.