Saving Energy/Being Good Stewards
(Click to download Energy Audit)


One of the early projects of the Creation Care Team was an energy audit (actually more than one audit), which involved energy consultants and the church’s utility company. The primary focus was on the large energy consuming activities of lighting and HVAC (Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning) equipment. Heating and air conditioning in the three major buildings of WCPC is provided by electricity; we don’t have natural gas heating, common in homes, but uncommon in other types of buildings. While HVAC is the largest electricity user, we found that lighting was easier and more cost effective. After studying our lighting, virtually all of the bulbs and fixtures in the older buildings and Sanctuary were changed for high efficiency LED lights and fixtures. The Hendricks Building already had efficient fluorescent lighting. New lighting installation was completed in early August 2014 and during the following two years, this reduced our electricity use by 19%, saved $14,000 on the church electric bill, avoided a $3,800 increase due to rate changes, and received a rebate check for over $9,000 from Entergy, our energy provider. A total two year savings of almost $27,000. Much of the financial savings were a result of lower natural gas prices, but energy savings will continue every year. 


In 2016, three older air conditioning units needed to be replaced, one of which had failed completely. During the energy audit, HVAC units had been prioritized for replacement. Not enough time has passed to know how much energy is being saved with these new, more efficient units, but the savings were large enough to receive another rebate from Entergy. In December 2016, this amounted to almost $4,000 the units.


Another approach for saving energy described in the energy audit was use of wifi controlled thermostats. Toward that goal, six new thermostats were installed at the same time as the three HVAC units were installed. The units are programmed to ensure correct thermostat settings and to ensure that peak power requirements are minimized. Additional thermostats have been installed in the Youth Room and the Office area as older HVAC units are replaced. The thermostat costs are expected to pay for themselves within one year by reducing energy use.