Simple ways worship communities can mitigate climate change include decreasing the energy use of their facilities and by behavior modifications. These energy savings will also leave the worship community more money for ministry use.
To get started, we recommend an NCIPL Energy Savings Analysis (ESA) of your facility, and then to follow the recommendations of the energy auditor for your behavior and building modifications.
You can apply for an ESA here.
Prior to that, you can start thinking about your energy use by obtaining an ENERGY STAR score of your facility. This score, between 0 and 100, will allow you to see how you are doing compared to thousands of other worship communities in the U.S. The average Energy Star score is 50, by definition, and if your facility scores 75 or greater, you are doing very well, indeed; well enough, perhaps, to receive EPA recognition.
Target Finder is a program that enables you to obtain a quick, rough Energy Star score. This score will show you how much energy saving opportunities you have in your building.
Target Finder is easy to use. You only need your facility’s:
- Annual electricity and gas or oil bills for a 12-month period.
- Note: the electricity and gas/oil data you provide must be only for the building whose size and worship seating capacity you specify (see below)
- Size of the building in square feet
- Number of hours and number of days the building is open
- Worship seating capacity
- Number of computers in the building
- Whether or not there is a cooking facility
- How many commercial refrigerators/freezers the building has
To determine your Energy Star score is easy.
- You can enter the data into the Target Finder program yourself. It is easy and takes less than 30 minutes to enter your data and find your score.
- Optional: if you wish the system to save the data you entered and your Energy Star score, then before using Target Finder, open an account on Portfolio Manager, a companion building energy rating tool; access this link: https://portfoliomanager.energystar.gov/pm/signup
- Save your data and result in your Portfolio Manager account.
- Or you can send your data to us at this address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will enter it for you and send you the result.
Give it a try, have fun seeing how you rank, and then get started saving energy and money and decreasing climate change!
Note: Portfolio Manager determines the Energy Star score for operating buildings, using monthly utility data. The system uses the month of the data to look up the weather data for that period. When Target Finder is used, only the annual energy use is entered. The system therefore uses average weather data for that period to estimate the score. That is the primary difference between Portfolio Manager and Target Finder.